Suzanne Birt rink wins Curl Atlantic Ch’ship and trip to Switzerland

PEI’s Suzanne Birt rink defeated the Colleen Jones foursome of Halifax by a 5-4 score this afternoon to win the women’s section of the inaugural Curl Atlantic Championship, which was played at the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre in Sackville, New Brunswick. With the win, the Birt team have earned a berth in the International Bernese Ladies Cup in Bern, Switzerland January 13 – 15, 2012.

PEI’s Brett Gallant rink were the runners-up in the men’s section, losing 8-5 to New Brunswick’s James Grattan rink in the final. The Grattan team will move on to compete in the Perth Masters in Perth, Scotland, Jan. 5-8 2012.

Birt rink at the Scotties photo: Team Birt at the 2011 Scotties

In this morning’s semi-finals, the Gallant foursome beat Nova Scotia’s Ian Juurlink rink 6-4, while the Birt squad downed New Brunswick’s Andrea Kelley team 6-2. Jones beat former teammate Mary-Anne Arsenault 7-4, while Grattan defeated Jamie Murphy of NS 10-7.

Gallant and Birt finished round robin play on Sunday with 4-1 and 5-0 records respectively to earn their berths in today’s championship round.

In Sunday play, Gallant, whose team this year includes last year’s PEI Tankard championship skip Eddie MacKenzie at third, along with Gallant’s long-time teammates Anson Carmody and Alex MacFadyen at second and lead respectively, edged out the Colin Thomas rink from St. John’s by a 5-4 score, but lost 6-3 to Paul Dobson of New Brunswick, who picked up four points in the seventh end to pull ahead.

Birt, whose team includes third Shelly Bradley, second Robyn MacPhee, and lead Leslie MacDougall, downed Mary Mattatall of NS 7-3 in her lone Sunday contest, scoring two triples in a game that ended early. The other PEI rink in the event, skipped by Kim Dolan, ended play on Sunday with a 2-3 win-loss record, losing 5-4 to Andrea Kelly, and 8-2 to another New Brunswick rink, captained by Melissa Adams.

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