Van Daele wins battle

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:35 AM ET

The women's winner was sighing in relief rather than shouting in celebration.

Linda Van Daele beat fellow Brandonite Lois Fowler 7-6 in an extra end of the senior women's provincial final at the Brandon Curling Club on Monday afternoon to win her third Manitoba senior women's title.

"It feels overdue," Van Daele said from Brandon. "I've been in too many of these finals."

And lost. In fact, Van Daele avenged the loss to Fowler in last year's final. She drew to the four-foot through a port with her final rock to win.

"Lois beat us with the last rock in last year's final," said Van Daele, who had beat Fowler 7-5 in an extra end in the Page playoff one-one game late Sunday. "These are two pretty evenly-matched teams."

Fowler had rebounded by beating Brandon's Joyce McDougall 6-4 in the semifinal, only to fall one rock short in the final.

Van Daele won previous titles in 2001, when she lost the national final, and 2005.

"It is an accomplishment to win three," she conceded. "But, if we hadn't won, that probably would have been the last one for me. I was getting pretty frustrated with it."

Instead, she will represent Manitoba once again at the Canadian Senior Men's and Women's Canadian Championships in Ottawa, March 20-28.

Third Betty Couling was with Van Daele in 2005 but second Sharon Shannon and lead Liliane Fargey will be going to their first national seniors. Shannon has gone to a national women's championship before but this will be a first for Fargey.

"It's going to be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to it," said Van Daele, who posted a 9-2 record in 2001 but was a disappointing 6-5 in 2005. "If it happens, it happens. The goal is to make the playoffs, then go from there."

Van Daele's first goal is to find a way to take her coach, Brian Moffat, with her because the CCA does not cover coaches' costs at the seniors.

Manitoba has not won a senior women's Canadian crown since Brandon's Mabel Mitchell turned the trick back in 1983.

Ramage men's champ

On the senior men's side, Baldur's Rob Ramage defeated Fort Garry's Bob Sigurdson 9-4 in the final to win his first Manitoba title in any category.

"It's just awesome," said Ramage, 55. "It's just a great feeling and all of us curled really well."

Ramage cracked a deuce in the seventh end to snap a 4-4 tie, then stole one in the eighth and two in the ninth to salt the victory away.

"I think I was more nervous for this game than I will be at the nationals because I wanted it so bad," said Ramage, who lost the 1995 men's final to Kerry Burtnyk. "I lost that final in '95 and it doesn't feel very good when you get to the final and lose."

Supported by third Shawn McCutcheon, second Laurie Stewart and Dave Boutet, Ramage will join Van Daele in Ottawa for the national seniors. Only McCutcheon, who won a Manitoba Mixed with Bill North, has ever been to a national championship.

"I don't know what it's going to be like at the nationals, I've never been there," said Ramage. "I guess I'll play it by ear, but it looks like fun."

Ramage had advanced to the final by beating Brandon's Jim Renwick 7-3 in the Page playoff one-one game Monday morning. Sigurdson then bounced Renwick 7-4 in the afternoon semifinal.

Sigurdson had advanced to the semifinal by eliminating Granite's top-seeded Vic Peters 12-6 in the two-two playoff.

East St. Paul's Carl German, who lost a tie-breaker to Peters on Sunday, was the last Manitoba team to win the Canadian senior men's title (2002).


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