During its first year together, a Powell River Curling Club team consisting of skip Tony Leach, Dale Ashby, Bryn Endicott and Dwayne Uyede became men’s league playoff champions.
Endicott recently moved to the community from Vancouver Island and Uyede relocated from Greater Vancouver. Both have been curling competitively most of their lives.
Team Leach competed in the North Island Club Challenge hosted by Powell River Curling Club from February 8 to 10 against a field of five teams and qualified for a berth in the BC Curling Club Championships held in Abbotsford from March 21 to 24. The provincial championship hosted 12 each of the top men’s and women’s teams from across BC.
Team Leach struggled with its early morning draws to begin the round-robin, handing team O’Brien from Victoria its only win of the tournament, however, the team went on to win both its afternoon games against Teams Frycz and Klitch, two of the best opponents on the competitive circuit.
“We took a couple of losses, but we shook it off and had some good showings,” said Endicott.
Going into its final round-robin game, Team Leach was tied with four other teams for first in its pool with a 2-2 record. The final draw against Team Thompson from Vernon was a close battle back and forth. Team Leach was up one, without hammer (last rock), in the final end of the game. Leach called a freeze to force the opposition to draw for one and possibly extend the match to an extra end, or steal a point and the win. However, his final shot unluckily caught on debris and the team’s run ended with a record of 2-3.
“It really came down to the last rock picking up something on the ice and taking a left turn,” said Endicott.
A win would have seeded the team at the top of its pool heading into playoffs. Team Sutton from Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster were eventual champions of the event and will represent BC at the Pacific International Cup in Richmond next month.
Powell River was well represented, said Endicott and the team is looking forward to preparing for another successful competitive season next year.
“Anytime you have players join up and have the success that we’ve had this first season, that’s a bit of a feat in itself and not something that typically happens right out the gate,” he added. “It’s been a good indication that we have a good set of players and there’s some excitement going into next season and building on that.”
Powell River Curling Club hosts its annual awards banquet Saturday, April 6. Among other league champions, Team Leach will be recognized for its accomplishments.