The Wheat City produced a pair of provincial curling winners on Sunday evening.
Stacey Fordyce of the Brandon club and Mark Anderson of the Riverview club held their respective opponents to two points in the finals as they captured the Travelers championships in Winnipeg.
Fordyce had lost three straight finals but wasn’t going to let a fourth opportunity to get back to nationals go by the wayside.
The skipper, third Christy Erickson, second Stacey Irwin and lead Pam Gouldie beat Shannon Gillis of the Fort Garry Curling Club 5-2. It is the third Manitoba title for Fordyce, Irwin and Gouldie and the second for Erickson, with the victories coming in 2013 and 2010.
The foursome also went on to win the Canadian title four years ago.
"It feels amazing," Fordyce said. "They all felt pretty good but this one is pretty good coming off three years of losing the final."
Fordyce, who knocked off Neepawa’s Darla Hanke 8-5 in the semifinals earlier in the day, scored an opening deuce and stole singles in the second, third and fourth ends.
Gillis, who stole one in the eighth end of her 6-5 semifinal win over Deloraine’s Liza Park, finally responded with two of her own in five but Fordyce blanked the remaining ends as the Brandonite avenged Saturday afternoon’s 7-2 pool-play loss to Gillis.
"They played extremely well in round robin and we had our worst game against them, so that was a little tough," Fordyce admitted. "They had the mind games going against us in that respect. They played really well but we put our best game as a team together in that final and put the pressure on them instead of the pressure on us."
For Anderson, third Jeremy Short, second Bryce Granger and lead Riley Willows, winning the Travelers with an 8-2 victory over Scott Barth of Assiniboine Memorial is a culmination of hard work.
"This is six years our team has worked towards getting here and getting a crack at this, it’s a real fulfilling thing," Anderson said.
He won a mixed doubles with Ashley Ewasiuk last year but bringing a second provincial banner back to Riverview means a lot, too.
"I got a taste of it and you always want more when you get it once," Anderson admitted.
His team was only up 3-2 through four ends but stole three in five and two more in six cap the scoring.
But they almost didn’t get to the final, stealing a 6-5 extra-end win over Andrew Atkinson in the semifinals.
"We were in an extra end and he ran a rock in and missed us by less than a half inch or we were gone," Anderson said. "We figured we’d dodged a bullet there we better pick it up this game and everybody brought a lot better game in the final."
Nationals take place from Nov. 20 to 25 in Kingston, Ont.
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