The MCA Bonspiel has always been about fun, and Pat Spiring always had a lot of fun in the MCA Bonspiel.
“He was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever played against,” Vic Peters said Friday. “And a real good player, like a guy who should’ve won the province somewhere along the way.”
Spiring lost his battle with cancer earlier this week, which has cast a bit of a pall over the 123rd edition of the MCA. Players who knew Spiring are remembering him this week as one of the greatest guys around.
“Probably too nice a guy,” Peters said. “He didn’t seem to have that real killer instinct, but he was as good a tucker as anyone. He was from the old school, from the Assiniboine school with all those tuckers. He played on a lot of good teams.
“He was definitely the life of the party always after the curling. I never heard him get mad at anybody or a teammate. It’s very, very sad.”
Peters noted Spiring was responsible for more than one of his exits from provincial championships over the years. And even though Spiring never made it to a Brier, Peters would never begrudge him for living his life to the fullest.
“The fun part of it always seemed to get in the way kind of for him,” Peters said. “I felt if he was a little more serious … but he always had fun, so I guess you can’t take anything away from him.”
PERFECT: Defending MCA champ David Hamblin of Morris had to make a difficult takeout with his final rock on Friday afternoon to beat Victoria’s Jim Conacher and improve to 3-0.
Hamblin couldn’t see much of Conacher’s shot rock in the eight foot, but he sneaked past a guard, plucked out the stone and rolled over to take out another Conacher counter. That allowed Hamblin to score two and secure a 4-3 triumph.
Other teams that improved to 3-0 on Friday afternoon were Deer Lodge’s Sean Grassie, who beat Carman’s Dean North 6-3; the Heather’s Andrew Irving, who downed who edged Deer Lodge’s Matt Peterson 6-5; and West Kildonan’s Dave Elias, who got past Fort Rouge’s Ken Ringaert 7-5.
In the 6 p.m. draw, West Kildonan’s Brendan Taylor upped his record to 3-0 with a 5-2 win over Fort Garry’s Tim Friesen. Also remaining perfect were West K’s Brad Haight, who beat Rossmere’s Erl Harris 7-1, Petersfield’s Dave Boehmer, who thumped St. Vital’s Allan Godfrey 11-1, and Pembina’s Lionel Walz, who edged St. Vital’s Don Fischer 4-3.
Six Safeway Championship berths are up for grabs through the MCA. Every aforementioned perfect team, except for Grassie, are still in need of a provincial spot.