When the Brandon Sun Westman Super League of Curling season started, nobody picked Duane Lang to head into the playoffs as the top seed.
That, however, is exactly what happened as the first-year skip and his Riverview Curling Club team of Glen Lang, Jamie Moreland and Dwayne Stone posted a 10-1 record in the regular season.
They earned a bye through the first round of the playoffs — which will take place at the Brandon Curling Club on Sunday — and now would like to cap their season with a league championship.
“We weren’t sure what was going to happen our first year in there,” said Lang. “I’m the first one to say there was a couple games that could have gone the other way pretty quick, but we stuck with everybody. That was our biggest thing. We always gave ourselves a chance and everything worked out pretty well for us this year. I think we have a good chance. Everybody’s good in there.
“We were a little disheartened after (not qualifying for the Safeway Championship in) regionals and the Brandon Men’s Bonspiel, but at the same time we’re not going there to lose, either.”
Brandonite Brian Fowler and Neepawa’s Jerry Chudley will open the playoffs with a quarter-final matchup at 10 a.m. Brandon’s Jim Renwick will meet Pilot Mound’s Curtis McCannell — who defeated Carberry’s Kelly Marnoch 6-3 in last night’s tiebreaker — in the other quarter-final.
Terry McNamee and his Brandon Curling Club squad of Steve Irwin, Travis Taylor and Travis Saban have the other bye into the semifinals, which start at 1:30 p.m. Unlike Lang, McNamee will be playing at next week’s Safeway Championship in Neepawa and is hoping to use Sunday as a warmup for the provincial men’s curling championship.
He’s also targetting his third straight Westman league title.
“It’s always nice to win this Super League,” McNamee said. “It’s a tough Super League to start with and for us to win it three years in a row would be great for us. There are lots of good teams in it. We’re one of them. If we play well, we’re probably going to win it.”
Sunday’s final is set for 5 p.m.
WESTMAN JUNIORS: The UCT Westman Junior Super League’s playoffs will also be held at the Brandon Curling Club this weekend. The quarter-finals are scheduled for Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The semifinals will be played on Sunday at 10 a.m., followed by the final at 1:30 p.m.
GOLDEN GALS: The provincial Golden Gals championship — an event for women at least 60 years old that isn’t sanctioned by CurlManitoba — will be held at the Minnedosa Curling Club from Monday through Wednesday. Among the local teams in the field are Hamiota’s Vicki Smith and Edith Caldwell, Dauphin’s Norma Johnson and Jean Geisel, Brandon’s Lois Hainstock and Minnedosa’s Heather Lewis. The 16 teams are split into four pools with the top two in each pool advancing to the playoffs. The final is set for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
EXTRA ENDS: The Brandon club’s Silver Belles Bonspiel will run from Feb 6-7. Contact June Clark at 204-728-7482 … Minnedosa’s women’s bonspiel will run Feb. 8-10. Fee is $120 per team. Contact Jackie Gerrard at 204-868-5658 … Killarney will host a women’s bonspiel from Feb. 8-10. Contact Kathy Clark at 204-573-6331 … Hamiota’s men’s bonspiel is set for Feb. 15-17. Entry fee is $120. Contact Tim at 204-764-2666 or Neil at 204-764-2215 …The Brandon Curling Club’s Dominion playdowns will be held from Feb. 16-17. Contact the club at 204-726-3560 to register … Carberry will be rocking with its 125th men’s bonspiel set for Feb. 18-24. The town’s women’s bonspiel will run Feb. 22-24. To register for the men’s event, contact Brian Salt at 204-834-2665. For the women’s, contact Suzie Scott at 204-834-2114 or Betty Buurma at 204-834-2700.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 31, 2013