Few people knew much about Tiffany McLean’s team that was taking on Lois Fowler in the Brandon Ladies Bonspiel A-event final on Sunday afternoon but the players hope that has changed.
McLean’s first-year team of Blair Rempel, Heather Bruederlin and Cassandra Lesiuk haven’t played much but they stepped up big when it mattered this weekend.
The foursome defeated three teams that have played in provincial senior women’s curling championships — including Fowler, Deb Collyer and Laurie Deprez — to win the Brandon bonspiel, which wrapped up on Sunday at the Brandon Curling Club.
It’s a run McLean wasn’t expecting, but she was happy to take home the title with an 8-7 victory and the $300 prize.
"It’s awesome," she said. "Our goal was one game at a time, win the first one and the second one and once we got 4-0 we knew we had a chance to get this last game. Everyone played well all weekend and we pulled through."
The foursome wasn’t well known around Brandon because most of the members moved to the Wheat City just before the curling season with McLean and Rempel coming from Dauphin in September for school, while Lesiuk moved from Dauphin for work.
They picked up Bruederlin, who had not played competitively before this season, and haven’t been on the ice much this season.
McLean’s team plays once a week in the open league on Wednesdays at the Brandon club and entered the Parkland Scotties playdowns, in which they lost to Lisa Menard in the B-event final.
They caught fire at the Brandon Ladies Bonspiel though and take a lot of pride in beating some of the province’s top senior women’s squads.
"It felt good," McLean said. "Some of them I was familiar with the names but didn’t know a lot about them. They make you work for it and it was really good."
The A-event final turned in the fifth end when Fowler’s attempted double-takeout through a port rubbed a guard and left McLean a draw for four to give her an 8-4 lead. Fowler got within one going into the eighth end and was in a good situation to steal until third Patti Burtnyk hogged a guard that allowed McLean to dictate the final five rocks and secure the win.
McLean believes that win and the bonspiel title will inspire her teammates to stick together and continue to play competitively for at least one more year.
"Absolutely, and especially for Heather," McLean said. "This is her first year of competitive and just trying to get that confidence to call line when she’s in the house and I think this weekend did that for her."
Meanwhile, Stacey Fordyce won the B-event final 11-3 over Gloria McMillan, Theresa Payette defeated Sharon Pedlow 4-3 in the C-event final, Brenda Linski slipped past Sandra Cowling 6-4 in the D-event final and Deprez defeated Karis Wiebe 5-4 in the E-event final.