A pair of wins yesterday put two local rinks in a three-way tie for the lead at the Ontario bantam boys' curling championship at Bracebridge.
Andrew Larsen of Woodstock and his team of Craig Van Ymeren, Mike Kean and Colin Darling are at 4-1, with two rounds left in the 16-and-under competition. Joining them are Matt Mapletoft of Wallaceburg Sydenham and his rink of Mike McDonald, Chris Liscumb and Chris Jay, along with Neil Sinclair of Manotick.
With Sinclair losing in the fifth draw yesterday afternoon, Larsen took advantage by scoring three in the eighth and final end to beat Simon Barrick of K-W Granite 6-4, while Mapletoft kept pace by scoring deuces in the third and fifth and stealing two more in the sixth for a 7-3 win over Christian Tolusso of Carleton Heights.
In the fourth round yesterday morning, Mapletoft scored deuces in the first and third and stole singles in the fourth and seventh to beat Barrick 7-4, while Larsen had steals of two in the second and third en route to a 7-5 win over Kyle Roth of Guelph.
Larsen and Mapletoft meet in the sixth round at noon today, then play Edward Cyr of Minden and Sinclair, respectively, in the final draw. There are no playoffs unless there's a tie for first and tiebreakers will be played tomorrow.
Lyle runner-up at seniors
At the Ontario senior men's championship at Brantford, three games in one day proved one too many for Jim Lyle and his St. Thomas rink of Larry Smyth, Pete DeKoning and Ted Smith.
After tying for third in the round-robin at 4-3 with Bruce Park, they had to beat the Brant skip 9-8 in a tiebreaker. They then ousted defending champion Bob Turcotte of Scarborough 9-4 in an afternoon semifinal, scoring threes in the fifth and seventh ends.
In the final against Bruce Delaney of Russell, however, the St. Thomas foursome ran out of steam, giving up a steal of three in the sixth and a game-ending count of three in the ninth as Delaney won 10-5 for his first Ontario title.
Around the house
Karen Smith-Bartlett and her Sarnia rink of Ginny Bird, Lisa Bennett, Kathy Porter and alternate Stephanie Edwards won the Best Western Challenge provincial title at Picton and Stirling, going 5-0 in the 32-rink double-knockout event . . . Intermediate men's and women's zone playdowns are this weekend at Welland (13), Hanover (14), Woodstock (15) and Blenheim Golden Acres (16). The A and B winners advance to regionals March 4-5 in Petrolia . . . Regional playdowns for masters men and women (60 and over) are this weekend at Wallaceburg Sydenham. The A and B winners advance to the Ontario finals Feb. 15-18 in Port Perry.