Nugget Column #26 – Tuesday March 22nd, 2016
The North Bay Granite Club’s annual Coldwell Banker Bonspiel drew one of its largest attendances in years with thirty-two rinks taking to the ice this past weekend.
The open format event allowed teams made up of any combination of male or female curlers at any age or ability to participate. It was great to see a mixture of up and coming bantam curlers, seniors over eighty years of age, provincial champions and newcomers who would be playing their first game.
While participants hailed predominantly from North Bay, approximately one third of the teams travelled from areas such as Mattawa, Sturgeon Falls, Powassan, Astorville, Temiscaming, South River, Timmins and Ottawa.
Visitors to the Granite Club were very complimentary of the playing conditions provided by our head ice technician, Bruno Bin, and his assistants. The event winning skip stated Friday night that it was the best ice he had ever played on, but being so early in the weekend reserved the right to change his opinion. Four wins later no such retraction was necessary, and he wasn’t the only curler praising the ice that hosted three provincial championships this season.
Formerly a Saskatchewan Junior Men’s curling champion who now finds home in Canada’s capital; Chris Rediger skipped a team including Alex Birtwistle, Natalie Rediger, Jack Glover and Marion Unrau to an extra end victory in Sunday’s “A” division final.
Rediger’s Ottawa squadron faced off against a hot handed Team Brown (Mark Brown, Bonnie Tweedle, Mike Callahan and Sue Cantin) in the championship final but a score of three points in the fourth end gave the visiting team control at halfway. A perfect freeze to a wide open rock by Rediger in the eighth end forced a well-guarded extra resulting in a stolen point. This marks the second consecutive year that an Ottawa-based team has won this event.
North Bay’s competitive ladies team consisting of Laura Payne, Mackenzie Daley, Laura Forget and Amanda Corkal stole three final end victories (two in an extra-end on Sunday) to claim the “B” division over Rick Miller, Jim Lisk, Vince Pugliese and Don Peterson.
In the “C” division John McClelland, Natasha Gribbon, Tim Kuntz and Dale Lisk prevailed when the skipper made a draw to the four foot on last rock, in the last end of a tied game to defeat Mel Cox, Jamie Graham, Carey Landreville and Pat Graham.
Keeping with suit, the “D” divison final was also tied in the last end with Denis Lafreniere, Guy Piquette, Alex Piquette and Joseph Piquette of Sturgeon Falls edging out three generations of Bowmans (Bill, John and Chris), whose team was complete with Kelly O’Grady throwing second stones.
Many thanks are owed to event chairman Jeff King who organized his first bonspiel with tremendous success. Participants enjoyed a hospitality-heavy approach with more funds being directed toward entertainment (live bands Friday and Saturday night) and excellent food. Curlers are still raving about the spread catered by Orchard’s Fresh Food Market on Saturday evening.
In addition to being a profitable event, a special fundraising effort was able to generate $370 for the Granite Club’s capital fund on Saturday.
Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club
“A” Division Champions: The Swiffers, Chris Rediger, Alex Birtwistle, Natalie Rediger, Jack Glover and Marion Unrau.
“A” Division Runners-Up: Mark Brown, Bonnie Tweedle, Mike Callahan and Sue Cantin.
“B” Division Champions: Laura Payne, Mackenzie Daley, Laura Forget and Amanda Corkal.
“B” Division Runners-Up: Don Peterson, Vince Pugliese, Jim Lisk and Rick Miller.
“C” Division Champions: Joh McClelland, Natasha Gribbon, Tim Kuntz and Dale Lisk.
“C” Division Runners-Up: Pat Graham, Jamie Graham, Carey Landreville and Mel Cox.
“D” Division Champions: Guy Piquette, Alex Piquette, Joseph Piquette and Denis Lafreniere.
“D” Division Runners-Up: Bill Bowman, John Bowman, Chris Bowman and Kelly O’Grady.