This past weekend, from November 20-22, Elmira hosted our third annual bantam cash spiel with 16 rinks participating from across southern Ontario with $2600 in prize money available to qualifying teams.
On the girls’ side, Pool A came down to the cumulative draw-to-the-button scores as Teams Anika Molenaar of Elmira, Alyson Duguid of Oakville, and Julia Heittola of Coldwater and District all posted equal 2-1 records at the conclusion of round-robin play. Molenaar and Heittola and their rinks, however, enjoyed the best cumulative draw scores and so these two teams qualified out of Pool A for games on Sunday. In Pool B, Team Mackenzie Kiemele of Niagara Falls (3-0) and Team Rachel Steele (2-1) of Uxbridge advanced to the playoff round.
In the boys draw in Pool A, Daniel Del Conte and his rink from Hamilton Victoria, and Owen Purdy of Niagara Falls, both finished with 2-1 records but Del Conte finished as the top seed with his head-to-head win over Purdy in the round-robin. In Pool B, another 3-way tie at 2-1 resulted with Alden Shin-Culhane of Richmond Hill lost his final round-robin game to Ryan Fayaz of Thornhill on last rock, creating a 3-way tie between those two teams and with Chris Inglis and his rink from St. Georges Golf and Country Club in Toronto. Unfortunately for Team Inglis, their shootout scores were lower than the other two teams and so Fayaz and Shin-Culhane and their respective rinks qualified for the playoff round on Sunday morning.
In the cross-over semi-finals, on the girls’ side Mackenzie Kiemele played their friends from Elmira, Team Molenaar, and emerged with a somewhat lopsided 7-2 win and into the girls’ final. In the other cross-over semi, Steele from Uxbridge defeated Heittola from Coldwater in a very close game, a 6-5 win that placed Rachel and her rink into the final, in their team’s second-ever event.
In the boys’ draw, the first semi-final saw Shin-Culhane defeat Owen Purdy of Niagara Falls by a 6-4 score, while Del Conte from Hamilton Victoria defeated Fayaz 8-5.
In the girls’ final, Mackenzie Kiemele and her rink came out firing on all cylinders and led 4-2 after 5 ends, whereupon the Niagara Falls foursome stole an additional two points in the sixth and cruised the rest of the way. The girls’ consolation final featured Heittola against Elmira’s Molenaar, which featured a close game, 3-3 after 4 ends, until Anika Molenaar made a pistol angle runback in the fifth end with hammer for 5, taking an 8-3 lead into six and complete control.
So to recap, the girls’ winners were Team Mackenzie Kiemele of Niagara Falls, undefeated through the event at 5-0. Team Kiemele features Mackenzie at skip, Katie Ford at third, Cassie Barnard at second, and Megan Ford at lead.
Runners-up were Team Rachel Steele of Uxbridge, with Megan Daffern at third, Samantha Maki at second, and Lauren Hart at lead.
In the boys’ finals, Team Del Conte pounced on Team Shin-Culhane with a steal of 4 in the first end, followed by steals of one in ends two and three, to take a 6-0 lead into the fourth end of play. Shin-Culhane tried to make a game of it but could only trade single points in subsequent ends, so the end result was a 7-2 win for Del Conte in six ends. In the consolation final, Ryan Fayaz started with a steal of 5 in the first end and hung on the rest of the way to defeat Owen Purdy 6-4, running Team Purdy out of stones in 8.
To recap, the boys’ champions are Team Del Conte of Hamilton Victoria, with Daniel at skip, Nykolas Moore at third, Vincent Barbon at second, and Samuel Guilbeault at lead.
Runners-up Team Shin-Culhane of Richmond Hill has Alden Shin-Culhane at skip, Ethan Chisamore-Johnston at third, Charlie Randell at second, and Michael Daffern at lead.
I would like to pass on my thanks to all of the Elmira volunteers who helped me with this event; Wes Johnson and the OJCT for their help and support, particularly with live scoring; Ryan Marshall and Allan Dickson of Elmira for getting the new cameras up and working on the Friday; Rob Shaw, our resident ice-maker; and all of the parents.
I would also like to again thank our sponsors: Adventure Guide in Waterloo, Frey Building Contractors in Hawkesville, Programmed Insurance Brokers of Elmira, Century Group Financial in Waterloo, Martin Mills of Elmira, Rudow CARSTAR Autobody in Elmira, and the Elmira Kiwanis Club. This event, and our junior curling program, could not be run without their support.