Defending grand aggie champ bounced

CHAD SCARSBROOK -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

Doug Riach rattled off 14 straight wins to ultimately finish 15-2 and claim the grand aggregate title and a provincial berth last year. It looked like he was on the way to doing it all again when he began this year's MCA Bonspiel with a 7-0 record. But two quick losses, including one to Portage's Scott McFadyen yesterday, knocked Riach out of both major events and provincial consideration.

"It's disappointing," Riach said from the Fort Garry yesterday. "We came out kind of flat, and I missed some shots I should have made. I'm disappointed for the kids."

The kids would be Adam Norget and Jordan Bauldic, who were looking for their first chance to get to the Safeway Championship.

"It's surprising because I don't think we lost back-to-back games all season," said Norget, 21.

"If we had a bad game we'd usually come back and win the next one."

Now they'll have to wait until next year.

"Unless someone needs a spare for the Brier," said Riach with a laugh.

BIG WIN: Jesse McCullough called it overwhelming and nerve-wracking, but it was all worth it. McCullough's team of juniors, made up of 18-year-old university buddies, beat Petersfield's Dave Boehmer 8-2 in seven ends on Saturday.

"It was more of a surprise right away, and then we got pumped up after when we understood what it actually meant. It was definitely the biggest win for us."

The turning point came in the fifth end when, down 2-1, McCullough made a draw for four. Supported by Travis Gesell, Justin Kusyk and David Enns, it's the first time the squad has participated in the local spiel.

"It's really fun as far as we'd love to do it again," said McCullough.

"We're getting a tour of the city as we're having fun."

BITERS: The five undefeated squads at the beginning of the day were trimmed to three entering last night's 8:15 draw. St. Vital's Brad Haight, Granite's Bob Sigurdson and La Salle's Randy Neufeld were still perfect. Howie Restall and Brendan Taylor both lost their first games but bounced back in the afternoon to remain on one leg ... Valour Road's James Kirkness will not be going to the provincials after his second loss in a major event -- 9-6 to Fort Rouge's Craig White. Rossmere's Ken Tresoor was also eliminated from Safeway consideration after a 7-1 defeat at the hands of St. Vital's Lionel Chartrand ... Restall, Taylor, Boehmer, Dave Smith, David Hamblin, Mike McEwen and Ian Beavis were some of the notables looking for provincial spots who were still alive entering last night's final draw.


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