|All concentration from 2013 champions Warren Dobson and Kenny Thomson|
21 Mar 2013 – High scoring ends and plenty of stones in play can make Doubles an exciting game for both players and spectators, and so it proved at the season-opening MCI Open Doubles tournament in Naseby last weekend.
Teams played in 2 pools through the weekend, and the two unbeaten sides met in the final on Sunday afternoon. And it was the pairing of Kenny Thomson and Warren Dobson who eventually prevailed over the NZ Mixed Doubles team of Hans Frauenlob and Natalie Thurlow.
The eventual winners did not have a smooth ride to the final though. They started their tournament with a maximum 6 point end in their first game of the weekend, but were staring down the barrel against the experienced campaigners of Pete and Wendy Becker in the early draw on Sunday morning, 6 down with two ends to play. But a 5 pointer in the seventh end helped as they stole their way to an extra end win.
Thomson said after the tournament, "It was a great weekend and very good to get back on the ice after a long hot summer. We really enjoyed every game, but had a great contest in the final with Nat and Hans."
"It felt to me as though the entire game was played within about 6 inches of the button so getting in there first was crucial. Nat played the shot of the tournament for me – we were 3 up lying 2 with one stone to come in the 7th. She then managed to come squeaking through a hole which wasn’t there and just rumble things about at perfect t-weight to nick shot by half an inch which meant we went down the last 2 up rather than 4 up."
"A rather messy last end left us looking a bit grim with the final stones to come, but we were a bit fortunate [when] a straight bit of ice caught them out and we were left with a pretty routine hit for the win."
The strong Australian duo of Steve Johns and Kim Forge won the playoff for third against the pairing from the New Zealand Men's side, Phil Dowling and Peter de Boer.
Twelve teams took part, including three sides from the local school league – some of whom gave their more experienced opponents a run for their money!
MCI Doubles to open 2013 season
21 Mar 2013 – The 2013 curling season will get under way with the Open Doubles tournament at Naseby's Maniototo Curling International rink this weekend.
The teams lining up in the opening round at 8pm on Friday will include Hans Frauenlob and Natalie Thurlow, the 2012 New Zealand Mixed Doubles champions. They will be seeking valuable competition practice ahead of next month's World Mixed Doubles Championship in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Also on the ice in the first round will be the strong Australian pairing of Steve Johns and Kim Forge, some of the NZ Men's side, and a host of experienced and aspiring curlers from the Otago region.
Pool games will continue through Saturday and Sunday, with the final round scheduled for 2:30pm on Sunday.