Neufeld defends curling crown
Wins fourth senior men’s title; Ursel claims women’s honours
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/03/2022 (251 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Randy Neufeld team was still savouring a third Manitoba senior men’s title when it was compelled to defend it just four months later.
And the La Salle foursome, set in stone for nearly a decade, got the job done, winning the 2022 provincial championship March 20 in Beausejour with a 9-4 defeat of Richard Muntain of Winnipeg’s Granite Club.
Neufeld and his teammates, Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls and Dale Michie, had captured the ‘21 title Nov. 9. The championship was originally slated for February but was postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in one playdown on the heels of another.
“It was strange, that’s for sure. An interesting year. But still really exciting,” Nicholls said recently. “It never gets old winning the province.”
Neepawa’s Terry Ursel, meanwhile, bounced back from a disappointing ‘21 Manitoba senior women’s championship to regain the crown in Beausejour.
Ursel climbed the ladder to the very top in successive years (2019, ‘20) but was bounced from the event in Beausejour in November after suffering three straight losses.
Ursel, with Wanda Rainka, Chris Hamblin, Tracy Igonia and alternate Brenda Walker, flipped the script less than two weeks ago, splitting their first two games games before rattling off six consecutive victories, including a 9-1 rout of Judy Colwell of East St. Paul in the final.
The Ursel and Neufeld squads will wear the buffalo on their backs at the Canadian senior championships, slated for early December at a host site yet to be announced by Curling Canada.
The Neufeld squad performed well below expectations at the recent ‘21 nationals in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., finishing 2-4 in round-robin play. It was relegated to the ‘seeding pool’ but managed to sweep past Yukon, Prince Edward Island and Nunavut, enhancing its position for December.
Nicholls said it was definitely unfamiliar territory for the 2015 world senior men’s silver medallists.
“That will hurt us,” said Nicholls, referring to the low seeding. “We did not play as well as we should have and could have. It is what it is. We did it to ourselves. We’ll get a lower seed, but if we play well we’ll still have a chance to win.”
Kim Link’s East St. Paul team, the 2021 provincial senior women’s winner, qualified for the championship pool in Sault St. Marie but just missed out on the ‘final-four’ playoffs.
Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).