Terry McNamee’s curling team made history at the Brandon Curling Club on Sunday.
McNamee’s squad became the first to win four straight Brandon Sun Westman Super League of Curling titles, capping that run with a 5-1 victory over Carberry’s Kelly Marnoch in the league final on Sunday. Third Steve Irwin and lead Travis Saban have been along for the ride in all four of those years, while it’s the second straight title for second Travis Taylor. Geordie Hargreaves was with the team for its first two titles in the run.
Winning has become commonplace for the team, and Irwin loves coming out on top.
"It never gets old to win," said Irwin, who skips Taylor, Saban and Joey Witherspoon in the bonspiel season and at this week’s Safeway Championship in Winnipeg. "It means a lot to break the record too, but to be consistent all year and follow through in the playoffs is always good."
McNamee’s team has dominated the league for the last few years and this season was no different. The squad rebounded from 6-5 loss to Brian Fowler in their first game with 10 straight wins to close out the regular season.
They followed that up with a 7-3 victory over Fowler’s team — skipped by Kelly McMechan after Fowler had a heart attack — in Sunday’s semifinals.
They caught a big break in the first end of the final when Marnoch’s attempted freeze went deep and allowed McNamee to make a double takeout for three. McNamee stole one in the second when Marnoch, who beat Brandon’s Jim Renwick 5-2 in the other semifinal, missed an angle-raise for two in the second.
Things just didn’t go Marnoch’s way and his team shook hands before the fifth end ended.
With the win, McNamee’s team took home the $2,000 grand prize in addition to the $250 they earned for each regular-season win. Marnoch earned $1,500, while the semifinalists won $1,000. Cale Dunbar and Jerry Chudley, who lost in the quarter-finals, both took home $500.
Irwin said the his team’s winnings will be used as spending money at the Safeway Championship. He is also grateful for the Super League playoffs to happen right before they begin their quest for a Manitoba men’s curling championship as it gives them those last few games as final preparation.
"It’s really nice to have the Super League playoffs right before we leave to have some competitive games," he said. "Throwing rocks is good, but this way we get some competitive games together and we leave in a couple days, so it’s really nice to play competitive games."