Lou Nowlan rink one win away from PEI Masters Men’s title, while Sandy Hope team wins Women’s opener at PEI Masters

Lou Nowlan and his team from the Silver Fox curling club in Summerside need a win in any of their next three games in the five-team men’s section at the PEI Masters Curling Championships, for curlers age 60 and over, being played at the Crapaud Community Curling Club, in order to be declared this year’s men’s champs.

Photo: Earle Proude (left) sweeps a rock while Alan Montgomery (centre) and Lou Nowlan keep an eye on the weight and line during draw 5 practice

Team Nowlan, which includes three members of the winning team the previous two years, won their second modified triple knockout section qualifier on Saturday afternoon, and have earned a berth in the “C” Qualifier at 2 pm Sunday. A win in that game or either of the two championship games slated for Monday at 10 am and 2 pm would give the team the title, while their opponent, the winner of the C semi-final at 10 am Sunday between Clair Sweet and his team from the Maple Leaf Curling Club in O’Leary, and the Blair Jay foursome from the Silver Fox, would have to win all three of those games to take the championship.

Clair Sweet

In Saturday morning play, Sweet beat Jay 8-2 to advance to the afternoon “B” Qualifier game against Nowlan. Sweet was in control in the first half of the game, following a stolen first-end deuce with steals of 1, 3, and 2 to lead 7-0 at the fourth end break. Jay was kept to singles in the next two ends, with Sweet taking one in the 7th for an 8-2 lead and handshakes. 

The Nowlan team, playing the game without their third, took deuces in the first two ends of the afternoon “B” qualifier against Sweet, with Sweet taking singles in the next two ends to trail 4-2 at the break. Nowlan took the next three ends, with a single in five, a stolen deuce in end six and a single steal in seven for an 8-2 win.

Blair Jay

The other afternoon men’s game saw Jay recovering from a 6-3 deficit after five ends, with a single in six, a stolen deuce in seven, and another steal in the 8th end for a 7-6 win over Bill Hope and his Cornwall and Silver Fox rink to advance to Sunday’s “C” semi. Team Hope stole the extra end to eliminate Cornwall’s Paul Arsenault rink 6-5 in the Saturday morning draw.

(L-R): Shirley Berry, and Team Hope members Arleen Harris, Sandy Hope, Debbie Rhodenhizer

Meanwhile, the two-team best of five Masters women’s championship between two Cornwall teams got underway at 2 pm on Saturday, with the defending champion Sandy Hope team coming from behind to take game one with an 11-9 win over the Shirley Berry rink. Berry was up 7-2 at the break, following steals in the first two ends and a five-point fourth end, but the second half was a different story, with Hope taking four points in the fifth, and stealing a triple in six and a deuce in end seven to lead  11-7 coming home. Barry came up with a deuce in the final end, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a win. Games 2 and 3 in the best of 5 go Sunday at 10 am and 2 pm. If needed, games 4 and 5 go Monday at 10 am and, if needed, 2 pm.

The winning and finalist men’s teams and both women’s rinks earn the right to compete in the Maritime Masters, at the Riverside Country Club March 15-17, in Rothesay NB, while the men’s and women’s winning teams, or the finalist teams if they are unable to attend, also earn the right to compete in the 2019 College Clean Restoration Canadian Masters Curling Championships, April 1-7 at the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon SK.


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