Moulding cashing in

Angela MacIsaac -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

The banks did Darren Moulding a favour. When the 22-year-old went to cash his team's cheque from the I Love NY Open Classic, his bank put a hold on the funds. Banks usually do that on US-issued cheques to ensure the funds exist.

And this one was written for a tidy sum of $9,750 -- $8,000 for finishing runner-up to Ontario's Wayne Middaugh, who beat Moulding 7-3 in the Halloween final.

On the brighter side, the cheque will be processed in time to pay the Calgary skip's bill for the Canada Cup West spiel, which starts tomorrow in Edmonton.

"True and we need it," said Moulding, who curls with third Colin Davison, second Scott Cripps and lead Mike Westlund.

Yeah but there's even more money on the line in Edmonton.

The spiel comes with a $14,000 booty plus other perks, the most coveted being a berth at the Olympic trials in Halifax next December.

"We've been practising and throwing a lot of rocks," said Moulding, a finalist for the Karcher Junior title in 2003. "We feel if we can get hot for a weekend, we can turn this into a pretty good year."

And that's with a brand-new team.

Moulding was with third Eugene Doherty, second Josh Lambden and lead Mike Sali last season. But Cripps and Westlund, who had curled with the Koe brothers, approached him to join their fold after Kevin Koe teamed up with John Morris and Jamie Koe moved back to the Yukon.

"I jumped at the opportunity," said Moulding. "They've had pretty good men's careers with Jamie and Kevin and they've won a lot of money on the tours. I couldn't ask for a better team to curl with."

There have been some ups and downs as they learn to play together, Moulding admitted.

"Sure but you look at all the top teams on the tour and the ones that go to the Brier, they all play together for years before they ever win anything.

"We've had a few growing pains but all in all,

I think we've improved and we'll hopefully be able to keep the team together and grow together."

Moulding kicks off the Canada Cup West in the

3 p.m. draw against Allan Lyburn of Brandon,Man.

"They're a pretty solid team," said Moulding. "Usually, it doesn't matter who you play. You have to execute your game plan."

Fellow Calgarian John Morris faces Kurt Balderston. The women's side, starting at 6 p.m., is rife with Calgary rinks, including Cheryl Bernard, Renelle Bryden, Diane Foster, Shannon Kleibrink, Heather Rankin and Bronwen Saunders.

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ON THE ROCKS: Kleibrink and Bernard earned their Southerns berths out of the Dist. 2 playdowns in Didsbury, while Heather Rankin, Nanette Dupont (Lethbridge) and Jennifer Loudon (Medicine Hat) qualified out of Dist. 1A in Vulcan. The Dist. 3 berths, earned at North Hill, went to Saunders, Terry Loschuk, Allison Earl, Renelle Bryden, Diane Foster, Barb Davies, LaDawn Funk and Karen Powell. Three berths are available at this weekend's last-chance spiel in Brooks ... Southerns are set for Jan. 7-10 at Airdrie Curling Club ... Men's playdowns start this weekend with four berths coming out of Dist. 1 at Coaldale and four out of Dist. 3 at Huntington Hills/Inglewood.


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