Gift of kindness

CHAD SCARSBROOK, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

If Arnold Asham wins a provincial berth at this week's MCA Bonspiel, you get the idea he might be forking over a lot of curling supplies to Gerald Timlick.

After a loss to Springfield's Garth Light in his first game late Thursday, Asham was already on one leg -- one more loss in a main event would end his chances of heading to Dauphin for the Safeway Championship next month.

He came close yesterday. He just didn't know it until the last minute.

"We had a bye on the official draw, but, unbeknownst to me, I guess they had a late entry into the spiel," the Valour Road skip said yesterday. "(The MCA) phoned me to leave a message that I was supposed to curl at noon. I thought we had a bye, and when we didn't show up we were going to lose by default."

Asham never got the message, and by the time a curling official reached him, it was past noon.

Asham did show up to Victoria Curling Club with his son and teammate Nathan close to 12:30. But the rest of his squad lives out of town and weren't making it back to the city until later in the day.

When Timlick, the skip opposing Asham, saw all the commotion, he gathered his team and made a decision.

"I just thought he's got a chance to make (the provincials)," Timlick, 36, said from Fort Rouge Curling Club yesterday. "We don't have a (CCA) card. We're here to have fun and play the game, and I figured if he's got a chance to make it we'll take the default. It only made sense to me."

So the Timlick squad defaulted the game, giving Asham, a guy they'd never met, another chance.

'WE'RE OUT'

"I was sitting there at the curling club, and he said 'Wow, we're out. We have no chance because we lost the first game and we had to win this game.' I'm thinking, it doesn't mean anything to us," said Timlick. "If you can, go for it, and hopefully he does well."

"We just thought we were doing what anybody would do, but he thought it was a huge deal. We figured we were going to lose to him anyway," said Timlick's teammate Wes Freund, 34, with a laugh.

"It's not that we don't mind losing out, just not by default," said Asham. "If we lose because I'm missing shots, that's one thing, losing by default is another. I was very disappointed because this was our last chance. This is why we came to play."

MCA executive director Ian Staniloff said any team can default a game.

"It's unfortunate that there was miscommunication from the MCA, but I think everybody is comfortable with the decision," he said.

Freund said his team was given a slide crutch and a bunch of assorted Asham curling supplies.

"They gave us the game, and it goes to show that curling is still a gentlemen's game," said Asham.

BITERS: Murray Woodward's Ste. Anne rink is on one leg after losing to St. Vital's Andrew Atkinson 6-5 yesterday. He was taking on Paul Pelletier at press time. In other upsets yesterday, Corey Chambers of Fort Garry beat Virden's Graham Freeman 7-2 and Fort Garry's Roger Parker defeated Stonewall's Mark Lukowich 10-6.


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