15 Jul 2013 – Upsets and comebacks were the order of the first two days at the New Zealand Curling Championships in Dunedin this weekend.
NZ Senior Women's skip Wendy Becker led her team of Brydie Donald, Kelsi Heath and Kathy-Jo Dobson to a 9-1 win in the deciding game of their best-of-five final series. The silver medal went to the young Auckland four of Chelsea Farley, Thivya Jeyaranjan, Tessa Farley and Eleanor Adviento.
"Chelsea and her team played great," said Wendy Becker after the match, "so thanks to them for an excellent competition. Maybe we should have wrapped it up yesterday when we let a big lead slip, but we took our chances this morning."
Peter Becker and his former NZ Senior Men's side of Dave Greer, Nelson Ede and John Sanders secured a last-stone 7-6 win in their decider against Dan Mustapic, Lorne DePape, Al Langille, Pat Cooney and Eugenio Molinatti. Both sides missed chances through the game, but Becker nailed the crucial one with a take-out in the last end for the extra point he needed to take the title.
"We had our moments in there," Peter Becker reflected. "In that sixth end we should've got a three, I released it badly and turned the two we already had into one! But we carried on and never gave up, and got the opportunity came to take a three in that last end and we took it."
The Men's bronze medal was wrapped up 10-2 by Peter de Boer's NZ Men's side, who failed to qualify for the final after the three teams tied with a 4 win - 1 loss round robin were ranked by their draw shot challenge.
"We paid the price for a bad [round robin] game yesterday," said de Boer after the game. "We didn't get off to a good start, Dan [Mustapic] made some good shots. We looked like getting a three, he made a great double and roll – and then I missed a draw with my last. We wanted to win this weekend, but we didn't and – c'est la vie – we've just got to go on."
When asked about their programme towards December's Olympic Qualifying Event in Germany he added, "We know what we've got to work on. We've just got to keep training hard, keep believing that we're good enough and keep doing the right things."
- Wed 10 July – Curlers look for gold in Dunedin
- Sat 13 July – Upsets and comebacks at NZ Championships
Upsets and comebacks at NZ Championships
13 July 2013 – Upsets and comebacks were the order of the first two days at the New Zealand Curling Championships in Dunedin this weekend.
The major upset was the the NZ Men's team – 5th in the world last year – failing to make the final of their national tournament.
Peter de Boer's side finished the round robin on the same 4 win - 1 loss record as the sides skipped by Dan Mustapic and Peter Becker, but with the worst draw shot record of the three they missed qualification for the gold medal games.
Comeback of the day was from Chelsea Farley's side in the fourth match of the best-of-five Women's final. Needing a win to stay alive, they trailed by 7 with just two ends remaining. However they scored a big five in the seventh, stole two to tie the match and then stole another in the extra end for an unlikely 10-9 win.
Farley said after the game, "We thought about shaking (hands and conceding) after six ends when we were down 9-2, but we thought no, we'll just hang in for one more and see what happens."
The Men's round robin game between Peter de Boer and Dan Mustapic came alive in the sixth end with a signature upweight takeout by Mustapic through a narrow port to score 3, and Team de Boer replied immediately with a 3 of their own. A draw to win in the extra end from de Boer was fractionally heavy on the lightning fast ice, resulting in their only loss in the pool matches.
Mustapic was reserved about his side's chances. "We don't want to look too far ahead", he said. "We've still got some work to do, that actually was a pretty sloppy game from us so we'll just see how we go."
The make-up of the Men's final was decided in the last end of the Men's round robin when Peter Becker took the two he needed to beat Mustapic."The team all played well," said Becker, "and the ice was a bit tricky, I think we got the hang of it before them. If boys they play like that again tomorrow we could give them a fright."
The Men's final is a best-of-three series, with the round robin game counting as the first of them. Peter Becker will take a 1-0 lead into his side's match against Team Mustapic at 9:00 am Sunday, while de Boer will face Rupert Jones for the bronze. The decider in the Women's final will also start at 9, as will the Men's playoff for 5th and 6th between the teams of Willie Miller and Garion Long.
Curlers look for gold in Dunedin
10 July 2013 – The country's top curlers will be in Dunedin this weekend, looking for gold at the 2013 New Zealand Curling Championships.
Favourites for the six team Men's competition are the national side skipped by Peter de Boer. His side, who finished 5th in the world in early 2012, were upset in last year's national final by the NZ Senior Men's side of Hans Frauenlob.
"After losing last year's final, we're really focusing on ensuring we go one better this year," de Boer said this week. "The Nationals are a critical part of our build-up towards the Olympic Qualifying Event in Germany in December, so getting into the winning habit this weekend is vital. The team have been training well and looking forward to some good curling in Dunedin."
Dan Mustapic (Dunedin) will skip the NZ Senior Men as Frauenlob is overseas. The other Men's sides will be led by Peter Becker (Central Otago), Rupert Jones (Dunedin), Garion Long (Auckland) and Willie Miller (Dunedin).
Just two sides will contest the Women's title this year. Many believe the best-of-five series between the teams of Wendy Becker (Central Otago) and Chelsea Farley (Auckland) may not be decided until game 5.
The first round of matches starts early Friday afternoon at St Kilda's Dunedin Ice Stadium, with the finals scheduled for Sunday.