Robertson wins senior men's provincial curling title


By: Lanny Stewart

Make it three provincial senior men's curling titles in four years for Neepawa's Kelly Robertson.

The curling foursome defeated Bob Sigurdson of West Kildonan 7-3 in the senior men's provincial curling championship final at the Brandon Curling Club on Monday.

With the score deadlocked at 2-2 after four ends, Robertson wound up scoring three in the fifth end to take a 5-2 lead over Sigurdson. After allowing Sigurdson a single point in the sixth, Robertson was able to pick up a deuce in the seventh to take a commanding lead, which led to the two teams shaking hands.

Robertson and his team are familiar with Sigurdson's rink as it was around this time last year that the Neepawa skip lost a tightly-contested game to them in the senior men's final in Killarney. Fast forward to Monday morning and it was Robertson who wound up losing to Sigurdson in the 1-versus-1 page playoff game. As a result, Robertson had to take on Kelly McMechan's rink in a semifinal that afternoon and wound up coming away with a 7-5 win, thus earning a rematch with Sigurdson in the championship game.

"We lost to him [Sigurdson] in a final of a bonspiel in Winnipeg earlier in the year. Then he beat us in the 1-versus-1 game, then we beat him in the final. We won the right one," Robertson said with a smile.

Robertson says his team, which includes third Doug Armour, second Peter Prokopowich and lead Bob Scales, have been playing together for several years now and it's evident the foursome have chemistry on the ice.

"I think it's just a group of four guys that really like playing together and everybody understands the game," said Robertson. "They've all skipped at one time or another, but they're quite satisfied with the positions that they're in and we just gel.

"It's no different than any other team," he continued. "You have to have the right players at the right time. It just seems as though we have a combination there."

Robertson's rink will now represent Manitoba at the 2014 Canadian senior curling championship, which is slated to take place in Yellowknife, March 22-30. It will be the first time a national senior curling championship will be taking place in the Northwest Territories.

"It's actually going to be quite exciting," added Robertson. "The two other national championships that we've been to, the guys from up there were four really good guys and told us that the north is just a really great place. So, I just know that they're going to put on a great show."

Robertson says it's important his team gets off to a good start at the event. Team Manitoba is scheduled to take on New Brunswick in their first game.

"You don't want to get behind the eight ball early that's for sure because it's hard to catch up," he said. "The western teams are always tough and I see Northern Ontario has the same guys that we've played twice at nationals and they're a very good team. So there's stiff competition there."

Robertson and his team finished the round-robin portion of the provincial championship with a 6-1 record prior to taking on Sigurdson in the 1-versus-1 page playoff contest.

Meanwhile, Brandon's Lois Fowler defeated Sandra Cowling of Hamiota 6-4 to win the senior women's title. Fowler and her team of third Maureen Bonar, second Cathy Gauthier and lead Allyson Stewart will also be heading to Yellowknife for the Canadian senior women's curling championship.

In photo: Kelly Robertson

Photo by Lanny Stewart