The Nola Murphy rink from the host club defeated Shirley Berry’s combined team from the Cornwall Curling Club and Silver Fox 7-5 in the women’s final.
Meanwhile, just two sheets over from the women’s game, Rod MacDonald of Summerside and his Charlottetown Curling Complex foursome outscored Bill Hope’s rink from the Cornwall Curling Club and Silver Fox 7-4 in the men’s championship game.
The Murphy and MacDonald rinks will now represent P.E.I. at the Canadian senior curling championships, which will also be held at The Fox from March 16 to 24.
“I’m really looking forward to my first senior nationals,” said Murphy, whose rink also consists of third stone Donna Arsenault, second stone Elspeth Carmody and lead Laurie Tirone. “I was fortunate enough to do the Dominion nationals in November in Scarborough, Ont., and we had a great time.”
MacDonald and his rink of third stone John Likely, second stone Mark O’Rourke and lead Peter MacDonald are also looking forward to the nationals.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said the skip. “If the ice conditions are going to be like they are today, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
MacDonald finished the provincial championship a perfect 6-0 (won-lost) after he earned a bye to the final by going 5-0 in round-robin play.
“It (final) was a real good game and we were fortunate to have hammer because of our record in the round robin,” said MacDonald. “We got two in the first end.
“Bill and them played well, and we had to play well the whole game. We were fortunate enough to steal two in nine, and that kind of clinched it in a sense.
“I have a second and third who can really peel well, John and Mark, and Peter set us up the whole weekend.”
After MacDonald drew against two to get part of the button for a single point and a 5-4 lead in the sixth end, Hope blanked the next two ends before MacDonald was able to steal a deuce in the ninth.
“We were playing the ninth trying to force him (Hope) to one, but if he got two it wasn’t the end of the world either,” said MacDonald. “We would have either been tied or down one coming home, and would have been trying to get our two in 10.
“We got some rocks out front, my team made every shot I asked them to make and I got a nice one in on my first one in nine.
“On Bill’s last shot we were thinking he had to hit everything he could see, and he did and it actually hit too much of it.”
MacDonald ran Hope out of rocks in the final end.
The women’s final, which featured a battle of sister-in-laws at the skip position, also featured a tight game. Two key ends were the fifth and ninth.
In the fifth, Berry, who was trailing 3-2 at the time, was lying three when Murphy settled in the hack for her final shot.
“There was a hole I could come in and try to take their shot (rock),” offered Murphy. “We talked about either ticking off our own red (stone), pushing it a little bit, or ticking off their blue and coming in as well.
“We figured that was the best way to go, giving us more of an opportunity for us to get in there, and even cut them down to one.”
That’s exactly what Murphy accomplished as the teams went into the fifth-end break tied 3-3.
“That’s a life saver,” commented a relieved Murphy on the ice following her final shot in the fifth end.
Murphy counted a deuce with last-rock advantage in the eighth end for a 6-5 lead, and then stole a single in the ninth end. Murphy also ran Berry out of rocks.
“It was a good game, both teams played very well and there were a lot of nice shots made,” assessed Murphy. “For us, the turning point was in the ninth end when we came around and tucked one in. It made it a little bit tricky for her to take it out.
“Then we just wanted to keep it clean and keep them from having more than two rocks in play in the 10th (end).”