The odds are on Joyce McDougall’s side to win her third straight Manitoba’s Credit Unions masters women’s curling championship.
McDougall and her Brandon Curling Club squad of third Linda Van Daele, second Cheryl Orr and lead Karen Dunbar have a one-in-four chance of winning, as only four teams entered to play in the competition. They square off in a round robin that starts today.
From a team perspective, McDougall isn’t disappointed with the turnout, but from an overall curling view she finds it concerning.
"I don’t know if it’s a bad time of year or when would be a better time," she said. "It’s hard to say what the problem is. I think a lot of women our age are probably enjoying themselves in the sun."
McDougall feels her team is in good shape heading into the championship, even though some had an exhausting bonspiel last weekend. McDougall and Van Daele played together at the senior women’s provincials in which they fell in a tiebreaker to Deb Collyer. Dunbar was on Collyer’s team that played five games in 24 hours to reach the final, which they lost to Brandon’s Lois Fowler.
McDougall feels everyone has recovered from that provincial event and hopes her team can follow a simple formula to win their third straight masters title on Saturday.
"We just have to curl well," she said. "That’s what it takes to win anything. Everyone has to get on the same page and we have to curl well."
The masters men’s provincials will also start today in Winnipeg, although it wraps up on Monday. Virden’s Murray Duncan enters the event as the second seed. Brandon’s Brian Lowdon, Shoal Lake’s Murray Solomon and Dauphin’s Ralph Wilson are also in the field.
MIXED BERTH: Eight of the 10 teams in the Chicken Chef Mixed Berth Bonspiel that runs Saturday and Sunday in Glenboro are from Westman. Brandon’s Jeremy Short, Cory Lawson and Lee Robins are in the field along with Neepawa’s Jerry Chudley and Mathew Kulbacki, Killarney’s Daryle Manning, Pilot Mound’s Clarence Reimer and Plumas’s Terry Ursel. Five berths to provincials will be awarded.
SENDOFF: The Brandon Curling Club is hosting a sendoff for Fowler and her provincial senior women’s championship team of Gwen Wooley, Lori Manning, Joan Robertson and Jill Hazelwood on March 12 at 8 p.m. There will be a cash bar, food and a rainbow auction to raise money for the squad as it prepares to head off to the national senior championships in Summerside, P.E.I., from March 16-24.
EXTRA ENDS: Rivers is hosting a men’s, women’s and juniors hot shots competition on Friday from 7-9 p.m. Call 204-328-7420 to register. The community will host a seniors bonspiel on Wednesday and Thursday. Contact Dennis Veitch at 204-328-7133 or Harvey Wood at 204-328-7367. The Rivers open mixed bonspiel will be held March 9 and 10. Contact Allan MacDonald at 204-328-7903 or Cam White at 204-328-7799 …Boissevain’s men’s and women’s bonspiel will run from March 7-10. Contact Jim Dickinson at 204-534-6119 or Donna Easton at 204-534-6491 … Dauphin’s women’s bonspiel is set for March 8-10. The entry fee is $148. Contact Joan Robinson at 204-638-3846 … The 114th annual Virden Men’s Bonspiel will run from March 12-17. Cost is $160 and there’s a guarantee of four games. Contact Cory Barkley at 204-748-6834 … Minnedosa will host a men’s bonspiel from March 8-10. Cost is $140. Contact Miles Dalrymple at 204-867-3645.