Quesnel curler Alison Duddy is coming home with her eighth provincial gold medal following the 2020 B.C. Wheelchair Curling Championships, which were held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the Cloverdale Curling Club.
The weekend tournament saw four teams hit the the ice to do battle for gold and the chance to represent British Columbia at the upcoming national championships.
Duddy’s squad, Team Macdonald, saw their first action on the ice on Friday matched up against Team Plan B-C. The Quesnel curler and her squad showed no mercy. Up by eight after the fifth end, the team slid into a easy victory 10-3.
Things wouldn’t be so easy for Duddy and her team on Saturday, as they went head to head with defending champions Team Neighbour. This matchup would see Team Macdonald go up early, scoring three in the first and two in the second for a 5-0 lead after two ends. The defending champs weren’t about to roll over, scoring one in the third and three in the fourth to cut the lead down to one.
The two teams would trade points in the fifth and sixth ends before Team Macdonald would add one more to their lead, making it 7-4 at the end of the seventh.
As the eighth and final end began to develop, fans were on the edge of their seats as Team Neighbour mounted a valiant comeback, scoring three in the end to just barely edge out their opponents, winning the match 8-7.
Next up for Team Macdonald was a match against Team Austgarden on Saturday afternoon. Things started out a bit shaky for the Macdonald squad, as they fell behind 3-1 after three, but they would buckle down and fight their way back into the match, taking the lead 4-3 at the end of the fifth. Team Austgarden took back control scoring two in the sixth and one in the seventh, carrying a 6-4 lead into the eighth. Team Macdonald refocused and came up with some incredible magic on the ice to score five in the final end, stealing the win out from under their competitors by a final score of 9-6.
These two teams would find themselves pitted against each other again on Sunday morning, as they fought for a chance at the gold medal. Team Macdonald would take control of the match early, up 7-2 after five ends. Team Austgarden would try to muster a come-from-behind victory of their own but wouldn’t be able to solve the solid play of the Macdonald squad, falling short as Duddy and her team would win 7-5 and head to the finals.
As the sun reached its peak in the sky, things really began to heat up inside the Cloverdale Curling Club, as Duddy and her team would play their tournament rivals, the only team to beat them during the weekend — the defending champions, Team Neighbour.
This nail-biter of a match kept fans on the edge of their seats, as the two teams would trade points end after end. The match would see four lead changes, as each team made incredible shot after incredible shot and was tied at five after seven ends. Truly, this could have been anybody’s game, but it would be Team Macdonald who would show the most heart and grit it out, winning the match 6-5.
Team Macdonald is made up of Skip Bob Macdonald, Third Alison Duddy, Second Gary Cormack and Lead Vince Miele.
The next big challenge for Team Macdonald will be the National Wheelchair Curling Championships, which will take place April 5-30 at the Club de curling de Boucherville in Boucherville, Que.