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Birchards fall just shy of sweeping curling crowns

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By Ashley Prest

BRANDON — It was decided by a fingernail after a measurement on the last skip rock in a nail-biter of a game.

The Shannon Birchard team from the St. Vital Curling Club won its second straight provincial junior women's curling crown on Monday afternoon at the Brandon Curling Club.

Team Birchard edged the Selena Kaatz team, also from St. Vital, 7-6 after the measurement favoured Birchard.

The junior men's final needed two extra ends to decide the 2013 provincial junior winner as skip Matt Dunstone of West Kildonan drew to the button with his last rock in the 12th end to defeat Daniel Birchard of Pembina 8-7.

The Shannon Birchard and Matt Dunstone teams will represent Manitoba at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Fort McMurray, Alta, Feb. 1-10.

"A draw to the button to win, it's a great way to win. They (Kaatz team) played so well, it was so close," said Shannon Birchard.

"It's the most amazing experience being there (at nationals). To go back and potentially get further than we did last year, that would be a great opportunity."

Kaatz and her second, Kristin MacCuish, were members of Shannon Birchard's team last year, which went on to win silver at nationals.

The Dunstone junior men's team was up 7-6 after nine ends and had the hammer coming home but Daniel Birchard stole one to tie the game and force the extra ends.

"It's the biggest thing we've all ever won," said Dunstone. "It means the world to me. My grandparents (Jim and Carol Dunstone) have done it (won a provincial and national mixed title) and I'm just following in the family footsteps."

The Birchards are a curling family too as Daniel is the older brother of Shannon.

Team Birchard also includes third Nicole Sigvaldason, second Sheyna Andries, lead Mariah Mondor and coach Bruce Birchard.

Dunstone's team members are third Colton Lott, second Daniel Grant, lead Brendan MacCuish and coach Scott Grant.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Monday, January 7, 2013 at 2:08 PM CST: Details added

6:08 PM: updates, replaces original story

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