Otago Boys upset favourites in final

30 Sep 2010 – Otago Boys High School won its first national curling title when they triumphed in the Boys' Final at the 2010 Pub Charity NZ Secondary School Championships in Dunedin yesterday. They edged out the previously unbeaten Maniototo Area School side in a 6-5 thriller at the Caversham Trust rink.

The Otago Boys team of Byron Dodge, Sam Blakely, Joe Anderson, Josh Weyber and Michael Sharpin had lost their two earlier matches against Maniototo. Up 4-1 in Tuesday's pool match they eventually went down 4-7, and in yesterday's morning preliminary semi-final they trailled throughout before losing 5-9. Otago hit their straps after that though, allowing Auckland Grammar just one scoring end in their sudden-death semi-final on their way to an 8-2 win.

The lead changed hands several times in the final. Maniototo needed two on the last end to tie the match up and force an extra end but just took a single, and so Otago Boys had their elusive title.

The Girl's title went to defending champions Epsom Girls Grammar School (Tessa Farley, Kate Smirnova, Marie Tsai, Lisa Wu) in a best-of-three contest against Henderson High School. EGGS recorded 6-4 and 7-4 wins in the first two contests, so there was no need to play the third. Another Auckland team, Birkenhead College (Eleanor Adviento, Jed Tan, Kelsi Heath, Sohail Kashkari) won the Mixed title. They actually won this category when they went out on the ice on the first morning, as they were the only entry.

The teams in all categories combined to play a full round robin before the catgeory playoffs, and it was evident that the Auckland teams took a little time to become accustomed to good curling ice on a dedicated rink. With little (if any) curl on their home multi-use rink, they were forced to quickly adjust their game. All teams managed at least one win as they progressed through the tournament, with many tight games.