With three local finalists in three finals over three days in the 33rd annual Cash Bonspiel, held over three days, the weekend tournament was clearly branded.
Eighteen teams took part in the bonspiel, with six of those from out of town. Teams from Vanderhoof, Prince George, Smithers, Williams Lake and two from Kamloops were in town to take part.
With only one team from both Prince George and Williams Lake, as well as a couple local teams that didn’t take part, the amount of teams taking part in the tournament was down this year, said Dave Plant, the manager of the curling rink.
Though teams were down, Plant was happy that a crowd of spectators gathered to watch the action from the viewing section.
Each win netted the winners a cash prize, with the prizes getting progressively bigger with each step up the tournament ladder.
The ‘A’ event final was a face-off between local Vic LeBlanc and the Kamloops-hailing Mike Smith.
Mike Smith would lead his team to curling supremacy, with a 5-3 win over the local LeBlanc rink, though not without a struggle.
The match was a great contest, tied after five ends at 2-2. In the sixth end, Smith earned two with a great draw shot. In the seventh end LeBlanc earned a single and was down only one coming home.
The eighth and final end saw the Smith rink get one, avoiding extra ends and earning the win with a thrilling draw shot to the button.
The ‘B’ event final was another local versus out-of-towner contest, with the Super League’s Child Development Centre, skipped by Ben Ruether, taking on Ron Vanderstar’s rink from Smithers. The Vanderstar rink got off to slow start, but took the game in the end, 5-1.
The game was close after three ends, but the home owners struggled with the “keen” ice and gave up four steal points and the game, over two ends.
In the ‘C’ final, a local team finally found some luck, with the local Blair Hedden rink coming out over Bill Lim’s Prince George rink, 5-4.
In the thrilling, low-scoring game, Blair Hedden tied it up in the seventh end, at 4-4. In the eighth and final end, with Hedden sitting one, Lim had the hammer and attempted to draw to the form foot, missing by an inch, resulting in a steal for Hedden.
The curling rink is done for tournaments this year, hosting its next tournament in the new year, but the weekly action continues with the super league on Wednesdays as well as the other local leagues..
Kids will descend on the rink this Saturday to learn a little bit more about curling, hopefully stirring the passion in their generation.