No berth, but Freeman lands next best thing

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

Virden's Graham Freeman still doesn't have a berth in the Safeway Select provincial men's curling championship, but yesterday he secured the next best thing.

Freeman won the Manitoba Curling Tour Championship with an 8-3 victory over Steve Laycock of Saskatoon in the final at Swan River.

His team of Scott Ramsay, Cory Barkley and Dwayne Barkley earned $7,000 and a berth in a Safeway Select playoff against Winnipeg's Brent Braemer.

That playoff will be held Jan. 17 or 18 at a yet-to-be-determined location, but only if neither Freeman nor Braemer wins his zone at the Select playdowns this week.

"It would be just our luck that the year we finally win this thing there might not be a berth," Freeman laughed.

"But we can't complain. It's nice to finally win a spiel."

If either Freeman or Braemer wins his zone, the other team will get the MCT berth. If they both win their zones, there will be a Select berth added to the MCA Bonspiel.

"We are guaranteed a berth game, so that's good," Freeman said.

$2,000 APIECE

Freeman advanced to the final by beating Reid Carruthers of Valour Road 9-6 in the semifinal, while Laycock earned his berth with a 7-5 win over David Bohn's Valour Road team.

Bohn and Carruthers earned $2,000 apiece, while Lyburn and McEwen, who lost in the quarter-finals, took home $1,500.

On the women's side, Brandon's Lois Fowler cruised through a disappointing four-team field to the title and the $2,500 first prize.

Fowler blasted Betty Buurma ($1,500) of Carberry 11-2 in yesterday's final.


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