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Gorveatt, Dolan skip squads to senior curling crowns

The Kim Dolan-skipped squad from the Cornwall Curling Club won the Prince Edward Island senior women’s curling championship Monday on home ice. From left are lead Julie Scales, second Kathy O’Rourke, third Susan McInnis and Dolan.
The Kim Dolan-skipped squad from the Cornwall Curling Club won the Prince Edward Island senior women’s curling championship Monday on home ice. From left are lead Julie Scales, second Kathy O’Rourke, third Susan McInnis and Dolan. - Contributed
CORNWALL, P.E.I. —

Phil Gorveatt and his Charlottetown Curling Club rink posted a perfect 7-0 tournament record to defend their provincial senior men’s curling title Monday in Cornwall.

But the deciding game didn’t come easy for Gorveatt, who needed an extra end to turn back Cornwall’s John Likely 7-6 in Monday’s C section final.

Meanwhile, in senior women’s play, Kim Dolan downed a stubborn Shirley Berry foursome with a nerve-wracking 6-5 victory Monday to claim the provincial title in a battle of Cornwall rinks. Dolan had entered Monday’s play with a perfect 5-0 record while Berry faced the prospect of defeating Dolan in three straight games to claim the P.E.I. title. Berry started off the day in impressive fashion, dumping Dolan 9-3 in the 10 a.m. draw, but Dolan held on in the day’s second game to claim the P.E.I. crown, her first senior title since 2016 when she won in O’Leary.

In the deciding game, Berry stole a single in the second end to grab a 1-0 lead, but Dolan scored a triple in the third end and added a deuce in the fifth to lead 5-2. A Dolan steal in the sixth increased the lead to 6-2 but Berry refused to fold and rallied with a pair in the seventh to cut the lead to 6-4 coming home. Berry managed to steal the eighth but could only score one to fall just short of tying the game and forcing an extra end.

In the day’s opening draw, Berry stayed alive with an impressive win over her previously unbeaten clubmate in C section action. Berry broke open a tight 3-3 game with a huge four-ender in the sixth end to grab a 7-3 lead and stole two more in the seventh to bring out the handshakes.

There were four women’s teams in the modified triple knockout championship where Berry had to win at 2 p.m. Monday to force a sudden-death final Tuesday.

Other members of Dolan’s team are third Susan McInnis, second Kathy O’Rourke and lead Julie Scales. Other members of Berry’s team are third Janice Murdoch, second Karen Currie and lead Arleen Harris. Kim Aylward’s rink from the Silver Fox Curling Club in Summerside was the defending senior women’s champion.

Other members of Gorveatt’s team are mate Kevin Champion, second Sean Ledgerwood and lead Mike Dillon. Play got underway Friday in both men’s and women’s playoffs.

The Dolan and Gorveatt foursomes advance to the Canadian championships, March 16-22 in Portage la Prairie, Man.

Craig Mackie, left, representing Curl P.E.I., presents the championship trophy to skip Phil Gorveatt after his Charlottetown Curling Club team defended their provincial senior men’s title Monday in Cornwall. Also in photo are mate Kevin Champion, centre, second Sean Ledgerwood and lead Mike Dillon.
Craig Mackie, left, representing Curl P.E.I., presents the championship trophy to skip Phil Gorveatt after his Charlottetown Curling Club team defended their provincial senior men’s title Monday in Cornwall. Also in photo are mate Kevin Champion, centre, second Sean Ledgerwood and lead Mike Dillon.

Entering action Monday, Gorveatt had already rolled to victory in both the A and B sections of the eight-team, modified triple-knockout provincial playoffs with a 6-0 record. Likely entered play Monday with a huge task ahead — he already had two losses and needed to post three straight wins against Gorveatt to claim the P.E.I. crown.

Gorveatt set the tone early, stealing a point in the first end when Likely’s final shot was a touch outside and heavy. Likely bounced back with a pair in the second end while Gorveatt was forced to a single in the third to tie the game 2-2.

Gorveatt took a 3-2 lead after four while Likely blanked the fifth to set up a go-ahead deuce in the sixth end to grab a 4-3 lead.

The hard-fought game turned around in the pivotal seventh end when Likely’s final rock — a key takeout attempt —picked up some on-ice debris and curled wide to the left, allowing Gorveatt an open draw for three and a key 6-4 lead.

Likely rebounded with a clutch shot to score a pair in the eighth to tie the game 6-6 and send it into an extra end. Gorveatt then came up with a crucial shot of his own in the extra end to score one and claim the P.E.I. title.

Likely played his last two games without regular teammate Blair Weeks in the lineup. Weeks was sidelined with a hip injury Saturday and was replaced by club mate Danny Kneabone of Cornwall. Other members of Likely’s team were mate Mark O’Rourke and second Alan Brown.

Craig Mackie, representing Curl P.E.I., presented badges and the championship trophy to Gorveatt and his team following play Monday. Accepting runner-up team pins were skip Mark MacDonald and his Cornwall team. MacDonald earned runner-up honours by finishing in second place in both the A and B sections. Other members of the MacDonald foursome are Garth Cudmore, Angus Kennedy and Joe Callaghan.

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