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ABREY’S OSOYOOS RINK CAPTURES LOCAL MEN’S BONSPIEL
There are few things sweeter for a competitive curler than winning a big bonspiel on home ice, says Dale Abrey.
Abrey’s rink from Osoyoos did just that, in thrilling fashion, by defeating Stan Green’s rink from the Summerland Curling Club 9-8 in an extra end before a large crowd of appreciative fans late Sunday afternoon at the Osoyoos International Curling Club.
“This is probably the bonspiel I like to win the most,” said Abrey, who has been curling for almost 60 years and long ago established himself as one of the premier curlers in the South Okanagan. “To be able to win on home ice in a prestigious bonspiel like this is very exciting.”
Members of Abrey’s winning rink include third Ron Robinson, second John Katerenchuk and lead Ferris Bromley.
Green’s team included third Gerry Woolsey, second Eric Johnson and lead Dave Gartrell.
The men’s A final in the annual Osoyoos International Curling Club Men’s Bonspiel – which featured 22 teams from across the province – was a thriller from beginning to end and featured some outstanding shot making.
Abrey’s team jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second end, but allowed Green’s team to take four points in the third end. Abrey’s team rebounded and scored points in consecutive ends to grab a 7-4 lead, only to see Green’s team rebound with a pair in the sixth end to close the gap to 7-6.
Abrey’s team added a single point in the seventh end to take a two-point lead heading into the final end, but Green’s team came up with some clutch shots to steal a pair and send the match into an extra end.
Holding last rock, Abrey’s team placed numerous stones into the house in the extra end, forcing Green to make a very difficult draw with his final stone. His shot came up just short and Abrey’s team didn’t have to throw its final stone.
Abrey said making the final and defeating Green’s talented team made winning the entire tournament even sweeter.
“I’ve been curling against Stan for what seems like forever,” said Abrey. “I’ve curled against him many times over the past few years and I’ve won my share, but also lost my share. To beat him here on home ice in front of a big crowd is really nice.”
Robinson agreed winning the men’s bonspiel on home ice was very exciting.
“We didn’t have an easy match the entire weekend,” said Robinson. “All four of our matches went to the eighth end and they were all close, so to win it all is very sweet.”
This is the third time Abrey has skipped the winning team at the Osoyoos men’s bonspiel. He last won in 2008.
The Jim Burns rink from the Vernon Curling Club captured the men’s B draw, edging out The Vikings team from Osoyoos that was skipped by Gil Martin. Burns’ rink scored six in the fifth end to blow open a tight contest.
Members of Burns’ team included third Gary Shwaluk, second Dennis Mori and lead Terry Mori. Members of Martin’s team included third Gerry Fischer, second Rod Flavell and lead Rolf Melby.
“I give a lot of credit to Gil’s team … they have two first-year curlers and to make the B final is a real testament to those guys,” he said. “It was an excellent way to end a great bonspiel.”
The Ron McDougall rink from the Vernon Curling Club captured the men’s C championship, edging out the Richard Issel rink from Kelowna.
Members of McDougall’s rink included third Jason Gilbert, second Darryl Chekerda and lead Corrie Dan Dyk.
Members of Issel’s rink included third Jim Allen, second Ken McAvoy and lead Jeff Alaric.