'In is in' for Ferbey

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

WAINWRIGHT -- For a guy who all but officially clinched a spot in the 2009 Alberta men's provincials, Randy Ferbey had a bit of a snarly edge as he headed home prematurely yesterday afternoon.

"We're getting grumpy but we're feeling good," said Ferbey who, along with Marcel Rocque are in Week 7 of a 10-straight-weekend curling marathon.

It looked like Ferbey had a three-ender wired for a win against Ted Appelman in the quarterfinal of the $40,000 Roaming Buffalo Classic.

But the last rock, delivered by Kurt Balderston (subbing for Dave Nedohin), picked three feet in front of the house, giving Appelman a steal and a 4-1 win.

"There's no bigger penalty than a picked rock in any sport," said a disappointed Ferbey,

Had the rock not picked and Ferbey found a way to get into the final, he may not have been quite as cranky. He would have earned an Alberta Tour spot fair and square.

Instead, it's a bit mucky. His entry to Wainwright's provincial hinged on results of next weekend's final Alberta Tour stop in Grande Prairie.

Since no teams within striking distance will be in Grande Prairie, Ferbey will officially be in when entries close tonight.

"In is in," said Ferbey. "We curled our nuts off for a chance to get this spot. The results weren't always there. There's been circumstances like you've seen today.

"The bottom line is we earned a spot and that's huge. It allows us to play in the Slam event in Winnipeg now because we're chasing the CTRS. Being in the provincials was right up there.

"Now the next thing is getting a Trials spot."

Ferbey has already qualified for the pre-Trials event in Prince George but would like to be one of the top-four teams that advance directly to the 2009 Trials in Edmonton.

"It's been all for those goals," said Rocque. "We would never have curled this much. We would have taken two weekends off for sure."

PARK 4, APPELMAN 3

Edmonton's Shane Park beat Appelman 4-3 in the final to earn $12,000 first-place money.

"Monkey's off our back for this year,'' said Park, whose team has failed to qualify in any spiel before this weekend. "It's too late to start going now, but we have the Canada Cup qualifier (at the Saville) in a couple of weeks and this is a good runner for that. It's always good to get back into the final and win one."

Park lost last year's final here before skipping a team into the 2008 provincials.

"It would be nice to play in the provincials again," said Park. "We have to go the back-door route again. I don't mind playing that route because Northern Alberta's pretty tough. To be the best, you have to beat the best and northern Alberta's where it's at right now."

Appelman made $8,000 and goes home satisfied his team tied Mark Johnson's Alberta Tour record 74 points off three bonspiel wins and one runner-up spot.

"We probably shouldn't have even been in the final because Randy's last rock picks," said Appelman, who battled back from a 4-0 deficit.

"I guess we'll take that. It's just too bad the ice wasn't moving a bit better. When you can't get around a guard, it's tough to play."

FIRST PROVINCIAL

Appelman has lost at least one qualifier in the northerns to get to his first provincial in the last five years.

"It feels good not to have to go through playdowns again. That's nice. We're a young team. We're strong and well-experienced for our age. We're looking forward to the provincial. I think we'll give it a good run."

Leon Moch and Lloyd Hill earned $5,000 semifinalist money.

Quarterfinalists Ferbey, Ken Berg, Jamie Fletcher and Les Rogers earned $2,500.


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