Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gushue makes two (Ursel, King and Homan too)

Just prior to the Shorty Jenkins Classic tour stop in Brockville, John Morris hadn’t even seen a hard copy of his new book, Fit to Curl, which we first told you about in August.

Today, Johnny Mo has seen – and autographed – lots of copies, but his Kevin Martin squad has lost their opening tourney of the season.

2006 Olympic champion Brad Gushue made it two Tour wins in a row with an 8-6 see-saw win over the Martinites in Brockville.

After Martin scored an enormous four points in the first end, the Gushues replied with a single and then a huge steal of three to tie the match.

After exchanging singles for three ends, the St. John’s foursome posted a critical deuce in the seventh end, and followed that up with another steal coming home.

The victory comes just days after the squad’s season-opening win in Switzerland.

In the semis, Gushue had upset two-time defending Shorty champion Glenn Howard by a 5-4 count, on the strength of key steals in the fifth and sixth ends. Howard grabbed a deuce in the seventh but the Newfoundlanders held the fort and scored one in the eight for the victory.

In the other semi, Martin battled Ontario’s Dale Matchett and finally prevailed 9-8 in an extra-end.

Other men’s qualifiers were Edmonton’s Kevin Koe, Winnipeg’s Jason Gunnlaugson, Quebec’s Robert Desjardins and Sarnia’s Heath McCormick/Peter Steski tandem.

In women’s play, young Ontario phenom Rachel Homan prevailed against Quebec’s Eve Bélisle 9-4 in the final. Down 3-1 in the third end, the 2009 national junior finalists took three and then stole consecutive pairs to build an 8-3 lead.

Bélisle had upended China’s Bingyu Wang 7-5 in the semi-finals, while Homas took out Brantford’s Jo-Ann Rizzo by an 8-2 count in the other semi.

Homan’s Ottawa foursome had also beaten the Chinese 7-6 to finish atop their pool at 5-0. The world champions from Harbin finished 4-1.

In Edmonton, Kelowna’s Bob Ursel scored four points in the seventh end to shock hometown hero Randy Ferbey 5-2 in the men’s final.

Four out of the first five ends were blanked. With Ursel holding a slim 1-0 lead in the sixth, the Ferbey Four cracked a deuce to go up 2-1, before Ursel pounced for the big four-count.

Ferbey had made a comeback in the semi-final in dumping crosstown rival Jamie King 8-6. Down 5-1 after three ends, the three-time world champions scored seven points over the next five ends to reach the final.

Ursel defeated Pat Simmons of Davidson, Saskatchewan 5-3 in his semi-final.

On the women’s side, Edmonton’s Cathy King upended Calgary’s Cheryl Bernard, the 2009 Alberta champion, by a 7-3 scoreline.

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