Front-enders lead the way

JOE PAVIA -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

In this case, the front end won the bonspiel.

With a hastily put-together team owing to vacations and injuries, Jeff Norman's rink went unbeaten en route to defeating Mark Homan in the Lord Elgin Hotel Main Event in the Ottawa Valley Curling Association Mixed Bonspiel.

Norman, playing with Lisa Weagle, Jesse Ruppell and Andrea Leganchuk, took Team Homan to the seventh end of the final, when the handshakes happened.

"We probably just played the two hottest skips in Ottawa," Norman said after the game. "Mark's just done phenomenally this year. And Rachel (Homan), well, she's probably the best in the city."

Rachel played third with her older brother.

The players on the winning team are competitive front-enders -- all seconds except for Leganchuk who plays lead.

"It's not bad for a team of front-enders," said Norman.

Other event winners were: ESI-Law Trophy -- Senior Division, Bob Hodgins, Bill May; Recreational Division, Cruiseshipcentre Trophy -- Jean Charles Beaudry; Jim Campbell Trophy -- Bill Rogers; Hogline Curlers Proshop Trophy -- Terry Ellard; Safeguard Business Systems Trophy -- Derek Cowan; Boston Pizza Senior Division -- Ed Warren; MCR Signs Senior Division -- Bruce Delaney; Recreational Division B -- J. Dolan.

Ninety teams totalling 244 curlers played at 14 clubs over the four-day event.

SENIOR MOMENTS: Two Ottawa rinks advanced from the round-robin to make it to the semi-final battles in the provincial seniors. Joyce Potter fell short by one in an extra end, losing 9-8 to Guelph's Dale Curtis. Roy Vallillee maintained the pace, but got the wind knocked out of his sails when Kingsville's Bob Stafford cracked a four-pointer in the eighth end to win 14-8. The eventual winners were Bob Turcotte and Jan Carwardine.

BANTAM REGIONALS: Local teams advancing to the provincials are: 1A -- Neil Sinclair and Stephanie Brown; B-side -- Geoff Spruit and Shannon Harrington.

SCOTTIES PLAY: Ottawa's Jenn Hanna won her first game at the provincial women's championship in Mississauga, defeating Alison Goring 9-3. As a 10-year-old curler, Hanna carried the provincial flag for Goring when she won the national title in Ottawa in 1990. In an upset, Sherri Middaugh lost her first game to Krista Scharf. P.E.I. has determined its Scotties national entry, Suzanne Gaudet.

MASTERS OF ALL: The Tim Hortons Masters Regionals take place at the Navy starting Saturday. Representing this area are Earle Morris, Reg Plaster, Alan Chaplin, Bill Comerford, Steve Stefanison, Dick Stoddart, Audrey Taylor, Lois Graham, Pat Brigham and Marg Stewart.

COPPING A TEE: The winners of the RCMP Golfer Curler on the weekend were Mike Conway, Gregg Murphy, Chris Park and Larry Simpson.

CURLING THIS WEEK: The first stick curling regional playdowns are on today at the Granite Club. The winners advance to the first recognized provincial championship in Brantford. Six teams of four players each begin at 9:30 a.m. ... The two Challenge Rounds (east and west) to determine the last two spots in the TSC Stores Tankard run Friday to Monday in Bobcaygeon. Area teams hoping to make the trip to Sarnia are Willie Jeffries, Greg Richardson and Doug Johnston.

THIS WEEK ON TV: Rogers TV has the Scotties Page game (1:30 p.m.) and semi-finals (7 p.m.) on Saturday, then broadcasts the final Sunday (1:30 p.m.). This goes head-to-head with the final of the BDO Classic Canadian Open Grand Slam on CBC (1 p.m.). All the big boys are playing, including Craig Savill, Jean-Michel Menard and Pierre Charette from this area.


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