Auld rocks Middaugh

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

Cathy Auld put the pressure on Sherry Middaugh from the first end and wouldn't let up.

The pressure allowed Auld's new rink from Toronto St. George's to win the 13th annual Southwestern Ontario Women's Charity Cashspiel 7-2 in seven ends over Middaugh, a three-time winner of the event.

The ice at the Ilderton Curling Club proved tricky for the final and Auld's rink appeared to adjust to it quicker.

Auld put Middaugh on the defensive from the first end, forcing the Coldwater skip to draw against four in the first end. Auld had a open hit for three in the second end, but had to settle for a pair. She never looked back.

Auld put her rink of Cheryl McPherson, Melissa Foster and Mary Chilvers together after last season. They had all played together at one time or another.

Skipping was new to Auld, although she threw skip rocks for Alison Goring for a number of years.

"I was happy with the way my team played. They were fantastic. Everyone was throwing it consistently, had great draw weight and it made a difference in both games we played," Auld said.

Auld got to the final by defeating Alliston Curling Club's Jacqueline Harrison 8-4 in their semifinal yesterday morning while Middaugh defeated Goring 7-4.

Auld said the ice was "tricky" but "consistent."

"We had some issues with it (Sunday) because it wasn't consistent," Auld said. "But once you figured out what the path was, it would do the same thing. So as long as the players were throwing it the same, you were OK and my team played very well."

Auld made some big shots. She went up 3-1 with a tap angle raise to steal one in the third. Then she forced Middaugh to hit against three to take one in the fifth, making it 3-2.

The best shotmaking came in the seventh end, with Auld having the hammer.

Middaugh made a tap raise for shot rock, forcing Auld to make a double against a partially buried rock. Auld had three rocks in the house.

Middaugh tried a come around and wound up wrecking on a guard. Auld had an open hit for four and the teams shook hands.

"They came out firing and we were just not quite there," Middaugh said. "When we did get a couple of good shots, Cathy came out with a couple of great shots.

"They played a really good game as we knew they would . . . We were always faced with a big shot or a very precise shot and when we made a great shot, Cathy came back with a good one of her own. When you are always clawing back, you can't get any momentum of your own."

Middaugh summed up the contest by saying: "There were a lot of good shots out there, we just weren't making them."

Auld walked away with the $8,000 first prize from the $32,000 purse with Middaugh bringing home $6,000. The cashspiel's charity of choice is breast cancer research. In 12 years, the event has raised almost $183,000.

It's a nice win for Auld so early in her rink's career.

"This is a five-man team. We have players coming in and out as players have family and work commitments and it's working well. We have a commitment to play together and build this team. It's great to get off to a great start," she said.

Her fifth player is Janet Murphy. Auld believes the five of them have the right components for a successful rink.

"With women, the big process is personalities," Auld said. "If you can build a team where you are all getting along, that's a huge step. When you can build a team like this that gets along and are all good shooters, it just takes time for me to figure out where to put the broom down for various players."

morris.dallacosta@sunmedia.ca


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