Smith, Gallant rinks capture Fall Fling titles

Nancy
Nancy MacPhee
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At Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club on Sunday afternoon

SUMMERSIDE – The Veronica Smith rink from the Cornwall Curling Club beat out Summerside’s Jenny McLean for the top women’s prize at the Maritime Junior Fall Fling for Cash at the Silver Fox Curling Club on Sunday afternoon.

Skip Veronica Smith, who’s from the Cornwall Curling Club, keeps an eye on the action during Sunday’s final at the Maritime Junior Fall Fling for Cash.

The women’s final went to 10 ends with McLean, on her last stone, unable to get the two points needed for Smith to throw her final stone and force a possible 11th end.

The final score was 6-4.

“It was our first final for the Fall Fling,” said McLean, who finished the weekend with a 5-2 (won-lost) record. “We are very pleased.

“Our final game, we blanked a lot of the first ends and the other team blanked. But when you miss a few key shots, one or two points, it’s hard to get back. It was a good game.”

Rounding out the McLean rink, coached by Don Vickerson, are third stone Lauren McFadyen, second stone Ava Coulter and lead Emily Vaniderstine.

One of McLean’s wins during the three-day bonspiel was, ironically, against the Smith rink. The score was 6-4.

Smith said that loss helped her team regroup and prepare the final.

“You know what you have to improve on,” said the skip. “We decided we would go in with a different strategy.

“The extra two ends gave us the chance to catch up and do well.”

The Smith rink, comprised of third stone Katie Fullerton, second Sabrina Smith, the skip’s sister, and lead Chloe McCloskey, has been curling together for 12 years.

It’s a family affair, said Smith, who is coached by her father, Paul.

“They are always there for me and they are always making their shots,” said the 18-year-old from Crapaud. “We stick together pretty well.”

Both teams will be back at The Fox in December for the next big junior bonspiel.

Smith, the under-17 provincial champion, is looking to defend her title in March while McLean, the under-15 provincial champ, is hoping to unseat Smith.

Men

On the men’s side, it was the Chris Gallant rink of the Charlottetown Curling Complex that walked away with the top prize in their division, beating the Jonathan Crouse team 8-2 in a game that was called after six ends of play.

“It’s our third spiel this year,” said Gallant. “We struggled in the other spiels.

“We kind of pulled it together this weekend.”

It was the 19-year-old’s first time as skip at the Fall Fling, although he has competed in the event three previous times. His team, coached by Peter Gallant and Derick Cameron, consists of third stone Kyle Holland, second stone Taylor McInnis and lead Andrew Cameron.

“It was our first final for the Fall Fling. We are very pleased. Our final game, we blanked a lot of the first ends and the other team blanked. But when you miss a few key shots, one or two points, it’s hard to get back. It was a good game.” Skip Jenny McLean

“We got off to a bit of a slow start,” said the first-year engineering student at UPEI. “The first two games we were down three halfway through the game.

“We came back with strong finishes to the game. We really picked it up Saturday, and today (Sunday) we played well.”

Gallant finished the weekend 7-0.

“All the teams gave us pretty good games this weekend,” said Gallant, who added the ice conditions were quick. “I don’t know if I could single one out as the toughest.

“We were down three against Tyler Smith (from the Cornwall Curling Club). That was a tough game to come back from. We got a few good breaks in the last half and capitalized on them. All the competition is pretty good.”

Gallant, who holds the 21-and-under title, said a break in the first end of the final contributed to the win.

“We were lying four on his last rock and it just over curled and we stole four. We played it pretty defensively after that and got a few more good breaks and they shook early.”

The event’s organizer, Sheila Compton, said there was a waiting list of teams for this year’s cashspiel, and teams are already signed up for next year’s bonspiel.

“It was absolutely great,” reflected Compton. “The curling was amazing.

“There were some new curlers, new teams just coming up the ranks and some older teams that have been here before.”

 

nmacphee@journalpioneer.com

On The Nose

A look at the Fall Fling junior cashspiel:

Top team in each division gets $600.

Runners-up each get $300.

Teams that made it to the semi-finals get their registration fee back of $125.

A total of 24 teams — 12 in each division — from across the Maritimes.

Event is in its eighth year.

Organizations: Silver Fox, Cornwall Curling Club

Geographic location: Crapaud

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