Martin, Ferbey survive

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

WAINWRIGHT -- The teams that battled it out at the 2008 Alberta men's curling championships both had battles on their hands last night.

Both Kevin Martin and Randy Ferbey survived.

Defending world champion Martin had all he could handle with a surprisingly-strong Dean Ross foursome out of Calgary.

Martin had to make a delicate angle tap-back in the sixth end to score one against four Ross rocks in his 4-2 opening-round win.

"That was a battle," said Martin. "They had us in huge trouble in six. Angle-tap, 15 feet. The odds of making that ... I was hoping to make one, but I would have been happy enough getting into the eight-foot, give him one and get onto the next one."

WON IN 2008

Martin grabbed the 2008 title in Spruce Grove, winning five straight. Ferbey lost only three times but all three were to Martin.

Ferbey struggled out of the gate and was down 3-0 after giving up a pair of steals to Kurt Balderston of Sexsmith.

"It was a horrible start to that game, the first three-four ends," said Ferbey. "We just couldn't get anything going. It was kind of la-la land. That steal of two (when the last rock somehow squirted between the two shot rocks), Dave threw it through a port where you could throw it 1,000 times and get at least one of them."

The game turned after Ferbey scored two in the fifth, then stole four over three ends as he roared back to a 7-4 win.

No. 3 seed Kevin Koe started off his week with a convincing 9-3 win over Calgary's Steve Petryk.

"It's a good start for us," said Koe. "We played pretty solid that game. It's kinda tricky ice. You can be great on this ice but it can also make you feel hopeless if you're not throwing well or you're not sure what it will do. I think the top teams here will do pretty well here. This is the type of ice we play on all year."

Jamie King beat No. 4 seed Ted Appelman 7-4.


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