Darren Smale knew Sunday morning after his quarter-final game against the Scott Sherba rink things were going to go his way.
At the end of the day Smale went on to win his first Kelly Cup.
“That was a game we shouldn’t have won, but we did. I’ve always said about an event anytime you win an event you always have to win a game that you shouldn’t have. That one game that you stole, it all of a sudden kind of just vaults you and gives you the breaks,” said Smale, who won in an extra end.
Smale came close to winning the Kelly Cup in 1991 when he was a third on his dad’s rink (Kevin Smale). This year, Smale and lead Tobin Senum, Geof Mcgrath, second, and third Mike Gallagher faced off against Lucky Buholzer in the final. It was the second meeting for these teams at the Kelly Cup.
“Lucky’s team played a little more defensive than I thought they would have when they were down, but that was their strength the hitting game, and ours was the drawing game,” said Smale.
“We played them in the A event. They were playing us conservative and we beat them by two. We cracked them in the last end with our draw. They knew they couldn’t beat us on the draw. They were matching their strength with our strength.”
Buholzer scored a deuce in the first end, but didn’t get back on the board until the seventh.
“In the first end my first rock it picked and took off and I missed it and he gets a deuce right off the bat. But we hung in there and they didn’t score another point until the seventh end. As a curler I’ve curled long enough. Your pretty resilientt, you can’t make them all, hopefully you make the last one,” said Smale.
And he did make the last shot. Smale picked up one in the second, and one in the third, fourth and fifth. Buholzer picked up one in the seventh. Smale picked up two more in the eighth. Buholzer came within two in the ninth, when he picked up one. But in the final end on the last shot Smale sealed the victory, drawing the rock into the four-foot.
“Geof Mcgrath, the guy is just an awesome sweeper. He’s the reason that I made that last shot,” said Smale.
Smale also won the A Event final.
Other winners over the weekend included Rick Fewster taking the B event, John Shephard of Williams Lake picked up the C event, Don Gaboury won the D event and Danny Morris grabbed the E event.