|NZ Mixed Fours|
Pre-tournament favourites Kenny Thomson, Brydie Donald, Lorne DePape and Marisa Jones confirmed their class to win the 2010 New Zealand Mixed Fours championship in Auckland last weekend.
They were the only unbeaten team going into the final against Team Hill (Len Hill, Christine Bewick, Len McSaveney, Beth Gibbs) and took charge late in the match to record a 6-3 victory.
The tournament organisers decided prior to the event that one of the four sheets at Paradice Avondale was nowhere near the standard required for a national championship, so the eight teams entered all had a bye during Sunday evening’s round robin phase of the tournament. Time constraints and the extra draw required meant that the round robin was restricted to six end games.
Team Thomson convincingly won their Blue Pool with a perfect 3-from-3 record. Only Team Hill ran them close, with a game of singles being decided by centimetres on the final stone of the game.
Three teams finished with identical 1 win-2 loss record. With no time available in the draw for tiebreakers, final rankings were determined by a combination of draw shot challenge and head-to-head results. Len Hill’s four emerged with the coveted semi-final berth while the teams of Kieran Grieve and Liz Matthews were consigned to the 5th to 8th playoffs.
Brett Sargon’s junior side (with Brittany Taylor, Kieran Ford throwing last rocks and Eleanor Adviento) surprised some of their more experienced opponents when they finished at the top of the Red Pool. They controlled their opening match, scoring singles in the first four ends against the Haymon Keeler team. However, they relied on a little luck to take 5 in the final end of their next game against the Al Langille rink for a narrow 10-9 win.
Langille (with Glenys Taylor, Iain Craig, Denise Thomson and Caroll DePape) joined Sargon in the semi-final with a 2-1 record. Keeler and the Bill Howie team had a 1-2 result.
In the match on sheet A, Kenny Thomson and Al Langille were locked at 3-3 after five of the 8 ends. However singles to Thomson in the last three ends allowed him to close out a 6-3 victory.
The other semi was also tight, but one bad end cost the young Sargon team the match. A hammer stone tap rolling the wrong way saw Hill steal 4 on the seventh end, leaving Sargon needing 3 on the last to force the extra end. They managed just the double, and Hill took a 10-9 win for the berth in the final.
The final was another close, entertaining match. In two or three of the early ends the Thomson team looked to be building a strong position and giving themselves a chance for multiple points, only to see the veteran Hill frustrate them with a tap and raise to the button with his last stone.
The deadlock was broken in the sixth end with a superbly judged, gentle double take-out through a crowded head by Thomson’s third Brydie Donald. This led to a 3 for her side who then controlled the end-game well to take the championship 6-3, and become the first holders of the recently-donated Kath Thomas Trophy.
Team Sargon deservedly won third place when Al Langille shook hands at 7-2 in the last end. Keeler and Matthews won their play-off matches for 5th and 7th places respectively.
- Full Result Details
- Photo gallery
- Earlier article 1 Jun 2010 – NZ Mixed Fours in Auckland this weekend
|2010 NZ Mixed Fours winners – Lorne DePape, Brydie Donald, Kenny Thomson and Rissy Jones|
|Teams were piped on by Carroll DePape before Sunday's opening round|
|Kenny Thomson keeps an eye on the take-out||Rissy Jones and Brydie Donald sweeping for Team Thomson|
|Left and below: Team Sargon||Christine Bewick and Beth Gibbs sweep for Team Hill|
NZ Mixed Fours in Auckland this weekend
1 Jun 2010 – Many of the country's leading curlers will be in Auckland this weekend in a historic first for the game.
The North Island will host a New Zealand Open curling championship for the first time when the 2010 NZ Mixed Fours title is decided at Paradice Avondale.
Tournament organiser Ian Ford from Auckland Curling believes this is an important occasion for the sport in the north. "Understandably, most Aucklanders associate curling with its traditional home in Central Otago," he says. "Few people know that we play here – although Auckland Curling Club is the biggest in New Zealand."
"We welcome the opportunity to have a top-level competition in Auckland," he continues, "and invite anyone who was intrigued by the sport at the Winter Olympics to come and see it live!"
"We would like to see events like this much more frequently. But for that to happen we will need to build the dedicated curling facility our athletes desperately need if they are to contribute more fully to New Zealand's progress in this sport."
Early favourites for this weekend's championship are the composite North-South team of current Auckland champion skip Kenny Thomson, NZ Women's teammates Brydie Donald and Marisa Jones (Central Otago), and 2006 Olympian Lorne DePape (Te Awamutu).
The championship gets under way at Paradice Avondale shortly after 5:30pm on Sunday afternoon, and preliminary games will continue until late in the evening. Semi-finals are early Monday morning and the medal games will start around 9am Monday. The event is open to the public and entry is free.