Blogging the Dogwood – a Sunday in heck.

Sunday is the tough day in any bonspiel. There are a few teams who only have to play twice (assuming they win), but for the teams down in the “C” event, it is a long road. Do the math: 16 teams are in the “C” at dinner time on Sunday, and they need to be whittled down to 1 by Sunday afternoon – that’s four 2-hour games in less than 24 hours for the finalists.

Fortunately for team Johnstone, that is not a road we need to travel. Knocked out of the “C” in a tough loss to Doug Meager. As reported by the guy who playes third for Team Johnstone (but was skipping this game):

We played very well, high shooting percentage by everyone, but not a terribly exciting game. We blanked ends 1 and 2, then were forced to take 1 in the 3rd. They scored 1 in the fourth, and stole 1 in the fifth. We blanked the next two to keep hammer coming home. We couldn’t quite bury my first draw in 8, and they took it out, forcing a draw anywhere into the 8-foot to tie it. However, we came up short of the rings. The rock wasn’t swept except for the last ten feet, so it’s tempting to blame the sweepers, but the rock hit a flat spot again, turned pretty sharply and lost all its speed at the very end.

A 3-1 score, with four blanked ends is pretty much the definition of “not terribly exciting”. Disappointing, but I have to mention that Royal City veteran Doug Meager, unassuming with his slip-on slider, winter mitts and deep-tuck toe slide, has been to the freaking Brier, back when 3-1 scores were commonplace in high-level curling. No shame in losing a tough defensive battle to him! Bonus is that this freed up the members of Team Johnstone to enjoy the Saturday evening pursuits without fear of an early game Sunday.

So we slept in, and came down to support the local teams suffering the long-road. Like the infamous Meat Brothers: a combination curling club, social phenomenon, and high volume double entendre factory, with half of them still shaking it up the “B” event:

…while the other half are still in the “A”, being challenged by a team dressed like baked potatoes
All the while cutting a stunning figure of sportsmanship and athleticism:
At the end, the A finals were between the Baked Potatoes and the Watson team (for whom Dale Hockley, the former cop-from-Castlegar I mugged with on Friday plays). the Baked Potatoes scored one in the first, then stole single points the next three ends in a roll, establishing if not a “commanding” three-point lead, at least a psychological lead. Watson finally sheds the hammer that was doing him no good by scoring one in the 5th, but immediately got in trouble in the 6th, needing a perfect freeze to keep the Potatoes from scoring 3 or four. Dale came up a little heavy on the freeze, and the Potatoes made good to score four and cause a shaking of hands with two ends to go.
The “B” finals have a venerable group of Meat Brothers playing the Ganges team, also of the Royal City. they spent the first 4 ends trading single points, with Ganges scoring two in the 5th, and the Meats unable to respond, settling for one in the 6th. When Ganges scored two more in the 7th, they were three up coming home and undertook the hallowed tradition of running the Meat Brothers out of rocks.
The “C” finals have Doug Meager playing Richard Brower of the Peace Arch club. It was a tough-fought battle with lots of rocks in play – a real strategic battle every end. Meager was one down coming home without the hammer, and had a shot to score two, but couldn’t quite hit the tight port he needed, and gave up a final end steal.
… and the Dogwood is over for another year.

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