Looks like it worked!

In an effort to promote more interest in curling and grow the numbers attending its annual ladies bonspiel, the Merritt Curling Centre tried something different this year.

Instead of a three-day extravanga with eight-end games, the 2015 ladies bonspiel was streamlined into a one-day affair with mini-games lasting just four ends each.

“We wanted to encourage the less experienced to come out and take part, and make the whole event less stressful and less of a commitment,” co-organizer Marlene Allgrove said.

Judging by all the smiles on and off the ice on Saturday and the spirited play throughout the event, the change was very well received by the 16 rinks that took part in this past weekend’s friendly competition.

Two rinks that thoroughly enjoyed themselves were the reunited Carol-Ann Rubner foursome from Merritt and area and the Clara Irwin quartet from all over the place.

The Rubner team, which included Lisa Schmidt, Joanne Galbraith and Jenny Nedokus, was curling together for the first time in almost 15 years. They had a blast.

As for the Irwin rink, there were only two experienced curlers in the group – Irwin herself and Patty Nash from Lumby, the mother of her daughter-in-law Meg.

“Meg and her good friend Christine Lishman from Hope are complete beginners,” Irwin said.

After being blanked in their first game, the Irwin foursome came on like gangbusters, even picking up two points in their second match and winning a couple of ends.

“It was all very emotional,” a delighted Irwin said. “We’re definitely hoping to come back again next year.”

Curlers Jill Van Rossum, Darlene Gellrich and Adrianne Moulind seem happy with how things are going on Saturday at the Merritt Curling Centre’s ladies’ bonspiel. Ian Webster/Herald

Curlers Julia Van Rossum, Darlene Gellrich and Adrianne Moulind seem happy with how things are going on Saturday at the Merritt Curling Centre’s ladies’ bonspiel. Ian Webster/Herald

The revamped scoring system for the ladies bonspiel had the participants buzzing, as every point from every end counted towards a team’s score, rather than just games won or lost. At one point during the third round of Saturday’s action, some 60 rocks were in play in the four games going on.

When all was said and done, it was the Diane Twan rink from Merritt that finished on top with 23 points, followed closely by the Monica Tenisch and Shelley Sanders foursomes with 21 and 16 points respectively.

A ‘Fairy Tale’ ending you might say.