Bitter-sweet berth in semifinal

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:01 AM ET

Some would have been thanking their lucky curling stars.

But these guys had mixed feelings about their sudden good fortune.

When Fort Garry's Vic Peters officially withdrew from the Safeway Select city zone playdowns yesterday morning, it meant that his scheduled opponent last night, Kevin Gromnisky of Deer Lodge, got a free ride into tomorrow's A-side semifinal.

"It's kind of bitter-sweet because, on one hand, we're disappointed we don't get to play one of the top teams," John White, Gromnisky's third, said yesterday. "On the other hand, you want to play for a badge and I don't think there will be an asterisk added to our team if we win (a Select spot).

"Now, we're left to playing the types of teams we're used to playing."

Gromnisky opened the zones with a 9-7 victory over Thistle's Brian Swain on Monday.

Peters, the No. 3 seed, dropped out because his son, Daley, was slated to play third but would be unable to curl in the Select because he will be competing in the national junior championship the same week. And Peters wants to accompany him to Fredericton, N.B. So does second Chris Neufeld, whose son, B.J., plays third for Daley.

That leaves Valour Road's Howie Restall (No. 12) as the top seed in the zone.

Meanwhile, Valour Road's Dan Kammerlock, who lost the Manitoba junior final to Daley Peters, defaulted his opening Select match Monday night after the Manitoba Curling Association refused to delay it. He was playing his first zone match on the late draw last night. So were Assiniboine Memorial's top-seeded Kerry Burtnyk and Grain Exchange's second-ranked Dave Boehmer.

The other four top seeds -- James Kirkness of Fort Rouge, St. Vital's Dave Smith and John Bubbs and Bill Kuran, both of Granite -- all won in their first action on the early draw last night.

On Monday, Eugene Desjarlais of Deer Lodge upset Valour Road's ninth-seeded Arnold Asham 8-4.


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