Rogalski rink wins a close one in men’s curling
It took until the seventh end for the Dennis Rogalski rink from Merritt to take the lead, but once they had it, they weren’t about to give it up.
The occasion was the B event final of the men’s curling bonspiel in town on the weekend — a close battle that the Rogalski foursome finally won 6-4 over the Gilmore rink from the Richmond Curling Club in Vancouver.
Playing constantly from behind, Rogalski and company scored two in the seventh to finally go in front 5-4, knowing, however, that their Lower Mainland opponents would have the hammer coming home.
In a cat-and-mouse eighth-and-last end, Rogalski’s rink managed to place two in scoring position with one stone left to throw. Richmond skip Brian Gilmore tried for a single takeout to tie the game and send it to extra ends, but wrecked on the Merritt rocks, resulting in a steal of one and a victory for the hometown boys.
“That was close,” was all Rogalski could say after the tense match. “We were a bit lucky.”
As for Gilmore, he was the first to admit that he blew it on his final shot.
“I was trying to take out one. It just didn’t go as planned,” he ruefully said.
The other members of the winning Rogalski rink were Ron Sanders, Dennis Couture and Wayne Byer.
Scores weren’t quite so close in the other two finals, played Sunday afternoon at the Merritt Curling Centre.
In the A final, the Grant Angman rink from Merritt had a rare off-day, giving up four in the third end en route to a 9-1 trouncing by the Miller foursome from Richmond.
The C final wasn’t much closer as the McIntyre rink from Kamloops defeated the Conlin quartet from Cloverdale 10-5.
A total of 20 rinks took part in this year’s men’s bonspiel, four less than last year.
“We had a harder time filling the event this year,” MCC representative Jerry Sanders said. “There was another bonspiel in Chase on the same weekend that attracted a few rinks that usually come to our event.”
Sanders went on to add that the average age of the curling population is also a factor.
“As players get older, they’re less inclined to travel, especially during the winter months.”
Up next at the Merritt Curling Club is the ladies’ bonspiel this weekend. Action will get underway on Friday night and continue through to the finals on Sunday afternoon.