It was a frustrating finish for Colin Griffith’s Grande Prairie rink at the Master’s Provincial Championships in Calgary, Alta. this past weekend.
The rink, which includes Dawson Creek curlers Rob Griffith (third) and David Hay (lead) and Grande Prairie’s Murray Gummer, missed their chance to defend last year’s provincial title after dropping their semifinal match to Lethbridge’s Larry Taylor, 6-2, on Sunday.
“We just didn’t have a very good game,” said Rob Griffith on Tuesday. ““We were really curling well for four games and then we had one bad game in the semifinal.”
It’s how the weekend seemed destined to end for the rink that started round-robin play with a near defeat of eventual champion Harold Breckenridge, only to be burned by a picked rock late in the match.
“We had a draw to the four-foot in the first game to beat him in the eighth end but a pick shot led to a single in the eighth and then we lost in extras,” explained Griffith.
“That’s how our week started,” he chuckled.
The Peace Region district champs would then go on to lose two of their next three putting them near out of contention for the playoffs.
[Colin] Griffith needed three straight wins in his final three preliminary games to force a tiebreaker and he did just that, keeping his tournament hopes alive by knocking off Taylor 5-3, High Prairie’s David Marx 4-2 and E. Keown 7-1.
After the round-robin ended in a three-way tie, Griffith’s skills competition score advanced him to the tiebreaker to face R. Lee, where he would win 7-2 for rematch with Taylor in the semifinal.
“We were really curling well for four games and then we had one bad game in the semifinal, and that was it,” said Rob Griffith.
Taylor scored two in the third end and then stole one in the fourth to pull ahead of Griffith, who managed singles in the fifth and seventh end but allowed two more in sixth and on in the eight to end things down by four.
Breckenridge, who advanced to the finals with the best overall round-robin record, would prove to be the tournament’s top curler, making quick work of Taylor with 10-4 victory in six ends for the championship. He will represent Alberta at the 2013 National Curling Championships at Thunder Bay, Ont. in April.