Super shot breaks Mixed Doubles deadlock

Click to watch the full final on YouTube
Click to watch a full replay of the final on Sky Sport Next's YouTube channel

20 Sep 2020 – A live-streamed thriller of a final capped off an outstanding 2020 NZ Mixed Doubles Championship.

With the scores tied in the final end and their opponents' shot rock on the button and well guarded, Bridget Becker managed to curl the last stone of the game around the guard, tap it back, and stay in the four foot ring to earn the gold medal match 9-8 for herself and brother Sean.

It was a see-saw affair that saw their opponents Mhairi-Bronte Duncan and Brett Sargon start strongly, scoring four in the opening end. The Becker siblings then scored in the next six ends to lead 8-4 before another four-point haul to Duncan and Sargon in the penultimate end levelled the scores.

Bridget Becker's pinpoint accuracy then earned her an eighth NZ Mixed Doubles title – six with Sean, and two with younger brother Scott.

Despite their loss, Brett Sargon was still cheerful after their first appearance in the final. "We really enjoyed it," he said. "We just wanted to play our shots, have some fun and see where it took us. We're happy to be here. Congratulations to Sean and Bid, they played really well."

Speaking of the last stone, Bridget Becker said "I thought 'Just throw the stone'. That was an amazing (final) end. I think everyone made all their shots, so it must have been great to watch."

Played alongside the final, the bronze medal match was also a nailbiter. With the teams tied at 6-6 going into the final end, Courtney Smith and Dave Watt stole three points to win 9-6 over defending champions Jessica and Ben Smith.

Sixteen teams entered the event, and over ten rounds of pool play from Thursday they were eventually whittled down to eight sides to contest the quarter-finals on Saturday evening.

Sunday morning's semi-finals saw the Beckers beat Jess and Ben Smith 11-8, and the Duncan / Sargon side beat Smith and Watt 8-6 to set up the medal games.

Three sides will now contest a trial to determine the New Zealand side to compete at April 2021's World Championship, and the top seven of the 16 teams there will qualify directly to the 2020 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The three teams are the two finallists from this weekend, and the 2018 and 2019 champions, Jessica and Ben Smith.