Historic eight-ender a showstopper

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:19 AM ET

West Kildonan’s Brian Leskiw not only scored an eight-ender on Saturday night against Morris’ Lorne Hamblin.

He stole eight.

The remarkable curling feat, which took place in the fourth end of what turned out to be an 11-3 Leskiw victory at the Granite, might have been historic, too.

MCA Bonspiel officials haven’t had an eight-ender reported in at least 10 years. Another official said it was at least 25 years. Before that, they’re not sure there ever was one, although they want feedback from curlers who may know otherwise.

Regardless, a steal of eight could very well be a first for the world’s longest-running bonspiel.

“I’ve been playing in the MCA for 45 years,” Leskiw, 70, said while enjoying a post-game beverage in the Granite lounge. “This has gotta be the highlight, yeah.”

The game was tied 3-3 going into the fourth. Leskiw’s foursome, which also consists of third Walter Hopp, second Dennis Koroluk and lead Kevin Kenaschuk, kept putting their red rocks in the house, and Hamblin’s crew kept ticking them and rolling out of play.

When Hamblin, the former Manitoba Curling Association president, settled into the hack with his last rock, Leskiw was lying seven. His other rock was about three inches in front of the house on the centre line.

“We weren’t thinking eight,” Hopp said. “We were thinking seven.”

Koroluk sensed an eight-ender as soon as Hamblin released his last rock. “As soon as he threw it, I knew it. ‘He’s tight, he’s tight!’ And sure enough, he just ticked it and pushed it in.”

The shooter somehow avoided the mass of red rocks and rolled out of play. The curlers on the other sheets turned and looked when Koroluk let out a yelp.

“The whole curling club actually stopped and wondered why we were all cheering,” Leskiw said. “I’ve never heard of a steal of eight.”

NITTY-GRITTY TIME: The number of unbeaten teams in the MCA Bonspiel is down to single digits.

There were nine going into Saturday night’s 9 p.m. draw, which meant there would be only six when the sun rose on Sunday morning.

The three teams that improved to 6-0 in Saturday’s 6 p.m. draw were defending MCA champion David Hamblin of Morris, West Kildonan’s Dave Elias and Pembina’s Dean Dunstone.

Hamblin and Elias are both chasing berths in next month’s Safeway Championship, of which there are six up for grabs through the MCA.

The six flawless foursomes going into the 9 p.m. draw were Manitou’s Steve Pauls, West Kildonan’s Brendan Taylor, Petersfield’s Dave Boehmer, Carberry’s Kelly Marnoch, Selkirk’s Reid Henderson and Brandon’s Rob Fowler.

Fowler is the only one of those six teams who has already punched his ticket to Beausejour.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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