MONTAGUE - The 10 teams who started play on Wednesday in the P.E.I. Tankard provincial men‚Äôs curling championship at the Montague Curling Rink have now been reduced to four.
All of the remaining rinks are from the Charlottetown Curling Complex, with the C and D qualifiers for the Page round being determined in Saturday afternoon‚Äôs draw.
The C qualifier game between unseeded Blair Jay and the second-seeded Robert Campbell was a nail-biter. Jay grabbed an early 5-1 lead with a steal of four in the third end, and Campbell then tied the game 5-5 with a single in four, and a stolen triple in five.
The teams picked up a single each in ends six and eight to tie the game again. Jay pulled ahead with a deuce in nine, but Campbell tied it up with his own deuce to force the extra end.
Jay, who had last-rock advantage, picked up a deuce in the extra end for a 10-8 win. Jay also beat Campbell 5-3 in the opening draw on Wednesday afternoon.
Jay normally curls out of the Silver Fox in Summerside, but was a last-minute replacement for Charlottetown‚Äôs John Likely, who is unable to curl due to an eye injury. Other members of the team are Mark Butler, Robbie Doherty and Robbie Younker.
The Blair Weeks rink, seeded fourth in the event, downed the defending-champion and third-seeded Rod MacDonald foursome 11-2 in only six ends to grab the D qualifier.
Weeks blanked the first end and took triples in ends two and four, keeping MacDonald to single points in three and five. Weeks delivered a five-ender in the sixth to bring the game to an early conclusion.
Other members of the Weeks rink are Robert Shaw, Matthew Nabuurs and Connor MacPhee, with coach Doug Weeks.
Defending-champion Eddie MacKenzie won the B final 6-2 over Campbell on Friday evening, to advance to the Page A-vs.-B game on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The MacKenzie rink includes Anson Carmody, Tyler MacKenzie and Sean Ledgerwood. Phil Gorveatt is the alternate player, and Al Ledgerwood is the coach.
The top-seeded Jamie Newson rink was the first team to qualify for the championship round, scoring four points in the ninth end in an 8-4 win over MacKenzie on Friday afternoon to capture the A qualifier and advance to the Page A-vs.-B game.
Other members of the Newson rink are Andrew Robinson, Sean Clarey, and John Desrosiers, with alternate player Phillip McInnis and coach Peter Gallant.
The winner of the Page A-vs.-B game between Newson and MacKenzie will advance directly to Sunday‚Äôs final at 7 p.m. The loser will get a second chance against the winner of Saturday evening‚Äôs Page C-vs.-D game between Jay and Weeks in Sunday‚Äôs semifinal at 2 p.m.
The Tankard champion advances to the Tim Hortons Brier in Kamloops, B.C., from March 1 to 9.