Joyce MCDOUGALL and her Brandon foursome etched their names into Manitoba's curling history books on Tuesday with a Canadian title.
The Brandon Curling Club team of skip McDougall, third Linda Van Daele, second Cheryl Orr and lead Karen Dunbar won the 2011 Canadian Masters Curling Championship at Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club with a 11-5 win over the Karin Host foursome from Richmond, B.C.
It was the first time a Manitoba women's team has won the national title in the masters (60-plus) category, which is in its 12th year as a national competition.
"I feel great, my team curled great," said a beaming McDougall, whose team scored three points in the sixth and seventh ends, after which the teams shook hands. "It is a good day!"
In the men's division, Manitoba's John Usackis and his Lac du Bonnet foursome were defeated 6-3 by the Garry Gelowitz team from Kelowna, B.C.
"What a great feeling!" said Gelowitz, whose team scored three points in the fourth end to lead 4-2. "That end just got in a situation where my rocks would curl and John's didn't and that was the determining factor."
Gelowitz and lead Dennis Case competed at the nationals last year but lost in the 3 vs. 4 playoff to Ontario. Third Rob Koffski and second Brad Cmolik joined them this season.
In the women's game, McDougall's team had jumped out to a 5-1 lead after four ends but drew gasps from the large group of spectators in the fifth when the B.C. squad tied the game at 5-5.
"It was kind of a fight, fight, fight when we gave up a four-ender (fifth end). We seemed to have to do that once during a game these days but we finally got back on track and it worked out," said McDougall, who is from Nesbitt. Van Daele is from Brandon, Orr is from Minnedosa and Dunbar is from Souris.
It was the first season for this foursome but McDougall and Van Daele curled on the same team at the 2001 Canadian senior women's championship in Calgary and lost in the final to Ontario's Anne Dunn.
In this event, McDougall's team won eight straight games to claim the first national championship for any of its members.
In men's action, Usackis and his team of third Dave Romano, second Lyle Dew and lead Gene Lazaruk led 2-1 after three ends before B.C. took control.
"The fourth end was the back-breaker, we gave them a three-ender. I was heavy on two draws and that was the turning point," said Usackis, whose team is together for its first season.
Usackis and Romano competed as teammates in the 1977 Brier. It was Dew's first year in the category as he just turned 60.
"They're (B.C.) a good team, we give them credit. We took a good run at it," said Usackis.