PORT AUX BASQUES It might appear to some people that Gary Oke had a pretty easy time repeating, but the seasoned curler believes his rink had to work for everything they got.
Oke, out of the Corner Brook Curling Club, defeated Bill Jenkins of the St. John‚Äôs Curling Club 8-4 Sunday at the Gateway Curling Club to repeat as provincial mixed curling champions.
The Corner Brook foursome, which also included Susan Curtis, Terry Oke and Sigrid Fitzpatrick, earned a bye right to the final after posting a 6-1 record in round-robin play in an eight-team tournament.
Oke was in total control of the final showdown against , capping off the victory with a three-ender in the seventh end.
Oke‚Äôs only blemish on the road to a repeat was a 6-5 round-robin loss to Baxter House of the host Gateway Caribou Curling Club.
‚ÄúWe played well all the way through. It was probably one of the strongest fields I‚Äôve seen in the mixed in a long time,‚ÄĚ Oke said Sunday. ‚ÄúThey were all tight games so it was really good.‚ÄĚ
An opponent for Oke in the final required some extra curling in Port aux Basques, a proud moment no doubt for the host committee who were hosting its first provincial curling event.
Baxter ‚ÄąHouse of Port aux Baques, Kenny Young of Corner Brook and Jenkins finished tied for second spot overall with identical 5-2 records. Young was awarded second place after he finished first in a skills event, which meant House and Jenkins would play off for the third and final playoff berth.
Jenkins disposed of House with a convincing 11-6 victory to claim third, before sending second-place Young to the sidelines with a 9-4 victory to earn a date with Oke and company.
The final round-robin standings saw Steve Ryan of the St. John‚Äôs Curling Club fnishing fifth overall with a 4-3 record, while fellow townie curling foursome Steve Routledge nabbed sixth spot with a 2-5 record.
Brian Bailey of Corner Brook, who was joined by Donna Davis, Steve Shepherd and Donna Shears, placed seventh with one win in seven games.
Don Gillam of the host Gateway Curling Club, along with teammates Arch Keeping, Karen Simon and Trudy Keeping, finished in the cellar with an 0-7 record on home ice.