Emotional win for Harrison

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:13 AM ET

One of the fiercest competitors to ever hit Manitoba pebble was almost speechless after winning his third provincial championship in four decades.

Granite's Doug Harrison captured that Heart, which goes to Manitoba titlists, by defeating Fort Rouge's former Manitoba champ Ron Westcott 5-2 in the final of the Strathcona Senior Men's Provincial Championship at the West Kildonan Curling Club last night.

"Another Heart, which is absolutely ... a pretty good thing in my life," Harrison said haltingly, tears welled in his eyes and his voice cracking with emotion. "It's pretty hard to explain ... Just about being retired, then coming back and getting a Heart and playing well was a pretty good week for me."

Harrison, 57, previously won men's (1978) and mixed (2000) titles.

For third, Howie Restall, it is his second Heart.

"This is a thrill," said Restall, 50. "It's kind of beyond your dreams. It's indescribable. I've won the province in the mixed (1990) and it's rather nice to win it again."

Second Doug Holmes, 59, won a men's title as second for Rod Hunter in 1975. Lead Bill Hodgson, 61, went to the Brier with Northern Ontario's Bill Tetley the same year.

"This has been a wonderful experience and it's great to finally win the Buffalo after all these years," Hodgson said.

The foursome will represent Manitoba at the Canadian Senior Men's and Women's Championships, to be held at the East St. Paul Curling Club, March 19-27.

"If it's anything like this province, it's not going to be easy," said Harrison, who nipped Brandon's Brian Moffatt 9-8 in an extra end in the one-versus-one Page playoff. "But if we play like we played here, we'll be close to the top.

"It will be fantastic here. Family, friends, everybody's around and it will be great."

Westcott was gracious upon losing to his ex-teammate.

"(Harrison) showed he's a tremendous curler," he said. "He shot the lights out against us. We had him in trouble in two or three ends and he bailed them out time after time and that was the difference in the game. Plus, that was our sixth game in two days and I think we ran out of gas a bit. (But) I don't want to make any excuses because they played great."

Westcott needed an extra end to eliminate Moffatt 9-8 in the semifinal after bouncing East St. Paul's former national champ Carl German 5-4 in the two-two match.

Meanwhile in Dauphin, Brandon's Linda Van Daele defeated Morden's Chris Scalena 8-6 in the final of the Pace Setter Senior Women's Provincial Championship.

"It feels good, a lot better than last year," Van Daele said from Dauphin after capturing her second senior crown.

Van Daele, who will join Harrison at the nationals, wants to make amends for losing the 2001 Canadian final to Ontario's Anne Dunn.

"That's the plan," she said. "And with it being in Winnipeg, it means we will get lots of support."

Betty Couling has replaced Joyce McDougall at third from that squad, with the front end of Evelyn Clegg and Jean Ungarian still intact.

Scalena had eliminated Minnedosa's Jean Garbolinsky 10-7 in the semifinal.


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