St. Marys Curling Club hosted this year’s first stage mixed curling zone championships on the weekend, with the local Chris Campbell team earning a tightly contested extra-end win against another local St. Marys team of Amie Shackleton to move on to the regional round March 23-24 in Dundas, Ont.
St. Marys is hosting this year’s John Shea Insurance Mixed and Canada Gold Whiskey Senior Mixed Provincial Championships, April 9-14. Former winners of this provincial curling championship are current two-time Ontario Scottie’s champion Rachel Homan and former Olympic curling silver medalist Mike Harris.
Campbell earned two hard-fought Saturday wins, in this double-knockout event, to move into the ‘A’ final Saturday night against a tough Chad Allen team from Brantford. The Campbell team battled hard going into the ninth end down by one, but were not able to come out on top.
This set up a Campbell versus Shackleton rematch, as Campbell had beaten Shackleton earlier in Saturday afternoon action. The winner of this rematch would move on to the regional round and one step away from earning a spot at the provincial championships being hosted by St. Marys in April.
The loser would be eliminated from competition.
To get to this winner-take-all game, Team Shackleton earned a huge upset of the returning provincial bronze medalists, Saturday night. Shackleton’s team of skip Amie Shackleton, vice Josh Mitchell, second Kristin DeBrabandere and lead Derek Shackleton, dominated the reigning bronze medalists from start to finish, winning 9-3 after seven ends.
Shackleton came out of the gates in the ‘B’ final, firing on all cylinders against Campbell controlling play early on. Skip Chris Campbell made a few clutch shots early just to keep the game within reach, and was only down by two after five ends.
The Campbell rink re-grouped and managed to take control of the game by scoring three in the eighth end, to go up 7-5 with two ends to play. After blanking the ninth end, Shackleton made a clutch draw to score her second point of the 10th end, forcing an extra end knotted at 7-7.
In a fiercely-played extra end with the winner moving one step closer towards the provincial championships, Campbell vice Linda McFadyen made a clutch hit with her second vice stone, to set up the win.
Congratulations to Team Campbell, composed of locals--skip Chris Campbell, vice Linda McFadyen, second Matt Ignor and lead Cheryl Muir. They move one step away from competing in the provincials in mid-April here in St. Marys. Next up for the Campbell fourseome is the regionals in Dundas in late March.
St. Marys Curling Club is proud of the showing of its participants. This curling zone fielded an extremely high level of curlers as evidenced by the returning provincial bronze medalists competing in this zone.
For the Shackleton team, meanwhile, beating the defending provincial bronze medalists shows the level of curling the local members are capable of.
The bronze medalists from last year actually got stronger this year by bringing in Mark Kean to skip them. Kean plays in all the Grand Slam of curling events on TV as a skip.
Another team member is a former national Junior champion from 2010 and World Junior bronze medalist in 2010 representing Canada. To say the least, that team is stacked!
The Allen rink won the ‘A’ final and also advances to the Dundas regionals.