Clubmate bounces Smith right out of bonspiel

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

St. Vital's Dave Smith finally paid the price for losing his first match so early.

The former Manitoba champion dropped his opening game of the MCA's 117th Annual Bonspiel, then went on a tear despite hobbling along on one leg both figuratively and physically.

But clubmate Trevor Loreth finally stopped Smith when his foursome upset him 6-1 at the Heather Curling Club yesterday to bounce his squad right out of the bonspiel.

"Yeah, it's disappointing but I'm getting used to not going (to the Safeway Select)," Smith said graciously. "I haven't been to too many lately.

"Our goal was obviously to get to the Select but the way we played through the (city zone playdowns) and what-not, I don't think our expectation level was too high."

Smith, who has also been bothered by a bad back on and off the last few years, refused to blame the elimination on his ailment.

"Actually, it was feeling pretty good," he said. "And we were starting to play better."

Loreth, 25, also faced elimination had he lost.

"I was pretty nervous before the game," admitted Loreth, supported by third Dan Bender, 22, second Trevor Funk (who played for Winkler's David Kraichy at last year's Select), 21 and Reg Speers, 36. "It was starting to get close (to earning a Select spot) and you know that's a good team. And we played well."

Loreth, who also had a poor showing in the zones after qualifying for the Manitoba Curling Tour championship, had to scramble to find a replacement at lead from his club because his regular one was unable to play due to school commitments (yet another reason to shorten the spiel).

"It's a little different getting used to a new thrower and a new sweeper," he said.

Loreth's hopes, however, were also dashed when he fell 6-2 to Granite's Troy Hamilton on last night's late draw. Hamilton plays Valour Road's Randy Dutiaume for a Select spot this afternoon. Dutiaume will actually have chances to win a spot in the two main-event semifinals and if that does not work, he will drop into a playoff.

BITER: Shaw Cable will televise live a main-event final from the Granite Curling Club today at 8 p.m.


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