By Jim Dolan
The 13th annual Senior Men’s Invitational Bonspiel was held Friday, January 19, at the North Grenville Curling Club in Kemptville. Twenty teams from Manotick (3), Smiths Falls (2), Perth (2), Brockville (2), Navy (3), Firemen’s League (2) Royal Kingston (2), Carleton Place, and NGCC (3) participated in a two-game total points bonspiel.
The entries were divided into two ten-team sections. Monetary prizes in each section were awarded to the first, second and third place finishers. A cash consolation prize was also given to the high one game winner in each section.
The Section B winning team from Kingston, skipped by Murray Lynch, was the top team in the Spiel with 40.5 points. As the overall winner of the event, Murray and his teammates – John Koronyi, vice, Rick Thorburn, second, and Steve Quinn, lead, were also presented with the Royal LePage Associates Shield by the event organizer Bill White. The participating curlers thanked Royal LePage Associates, Anita Maloney and Gary Durie, from the Team Realty Kemptville Office, for their continued support of the event. Anita and Gary have sponsored this event since its inception, and were able to meet several of the participants when they attended the afternoon luncheon.
Section A winners were: First Place Team: Dan Thomsen (Firemen) 39 points; Second Place Team: Al Kennedy (Kingston) 35 points; Third Place Team: Bob Day (Perth) 30 points. The one game high winner was Team Gary Froats (Manotick) 25 points.
Other Section B winners were: Second Place Team: John Wellington (Brockville) 35 points; Third Place Team: Vic Mathews (Kingston) 31.5 points. The one game high winner was Team Ivan Hodgins (Perth) 26 points.
When you play in senior men’s spiels throughout the Ottawa and Seaway Valleys, what makes the events memorable are excellent ice conditions, great food, the sportsmanship, and the post-game camaraderie enjoyed by the teams.
Bill White said the event succeeded in all these areas. The teams raved about the wonderful curling ice surface provided by our ice technician, Dennis Elgie. They thanked the kitchen crew, led by Carol Menchions, for the great meal served between games. And teams from the Ottawa and Seaway Valleys enjoyed the opportunity to share a few laughs and a few “soda pops” with their silver tongued and silver haired curling buddies.
As for me, I got to knock off one of the top one hundred bucket list things to do after I turned 65. It was number 99 on the list: I got to curl with Smiths Falls’ Rick McGrath. I know its pretty low on a bucket list, and I know it has several curlers in the valley shaking their heads, but Rick is a real competitor and one of the best curlers in the OVCA Senior Valley League. What is even more impressive, he still delivers a curling stone using a tuck delivery.
When this article appears in the NG Times, the Canadian Women’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be well under way in Kelowna, British Columbia. NG Times readers might be interested to know that teams skipped by Newfoundland’s Stacie Curtis, PEI’s Robyn MacPhee, Nova Scotia’s Mary-Anne Arsenault, and Ontario’s Hollie Duncan played in the 2017 Royal LePage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic, a World Curling Event, which is held each year at the North Grenville Curling Club in Kemptville in early November.
What is even more impressive is that 19 players on six of the ten women’s teams that will compete for the 2018 Olympic Gold Medal in PyeongChang, South Korea, have played in the Royal LePage OVCA Women’s Fall Classic. The countries and the skip of the teams are: Canada – Rachel Homan (a two-time winner of the Fall Classic), Great Britain – Eve Murihead, Sweden – Anna Hasselborg, Switzerland – Silvana Tirinzoni, the United States – Nina Roth, and Russia -Victoria Moiseeva.