Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Gauthier wins first NCA title in Owen Sound

Louis Gauthier probably hopes for 2 things come the day of a tournament. One, that his name gets pronounced correctly, and two, that he can walk away with the title. He made sure the latter occurred on Saturday on a snowy day in Owen Sound.

Weather held back a few competitors, and made a few more a little late to the party, but when it got going 44 competitors made up the tournament total. 16 teams competed in the Recreational Doubles category and 12 in the competitive singles.

While the singles field contained 7 of the top 12 CrokinoleCentre ranked players, only one of the top 6 (Fred Slater at 5th) was in attendance. That left the door open to any other top player looking to have a particularly strong day at the Scenic City Crokinole Tournament.

The preliminary round saw 10 games of action with Louis Gauthier leading the log jam with 55 points and 89 20’s. Right behind were Nathan Walsh with 54 points and a tournament high 105 20’s, then Fred Slater and Eric Miltenburg with 53 points, and Howard Martin and Matt Brown with 52 and 51 points respectively.

Into the afternoon the second round action heated up. Leading the way in Pool B action were Robert Bonnett and Clare Kuepfer, setting up the semifinals. Robert Bonnett prevailed over Gloria Walsh, and Dale Henry defeated Clare Kuepfer. In the finals, Bonnett was in top form to take the B title.

In Pool A, Nathan Walsh and Matt Brown took the top seeds, with Fred Slater and Louis Gauthier just behind. Fred Slater was able to defeat Matt Brown in one semifinal match 5-1, 6-2. In the other semifinal, Louis Gauthier got revenge over Walsh from their Belleville semifinal, winning 4-4, 5-3, 3-5, 4-0 (in extra rounds), in a match that saw both players amazingly score a perfect game twice.

That set up Gauthier’s first ever NCA final, against Fred Slater, looking for his second tournament title of the 2013-2014 season. In the first game both players held the hammer rounds to finish 4-4. Gauthier began to shoot very well in the second game and won 6-0. In the third game Slater was looking for a win to extend the match, but Gauthier failed to miss an open 20 and took the third game 5-3 to win the match, and become the King of Scenic City Crokinole.

The NCA Tour is now off for a couple of months, before returning in 2014 for the Hamilton tournament.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Beierlings win Ontario Doubles Crokinole Championship

Cold and rainy weekends in the local church of small Ontario towns were where crokinole thrived. It was in the United Church in Brucefield where Raymond and Jason Beierling won the 2013 Ontario Doubles Crokinole Championship.

52 competitors packed the small community centre, with 14 teams in the competitive division and 12 in the recreational. It was a star-studded field of competitive action with 16 of the 28 competitive players having previous top 4 World Championship finishes, and 8 World Doubles Champions.

The top dogs in the event were: 
Fred Slater and Eric Miltenburg (making up one half of the 3-time defending Ontario champions)
Ron and Ray Haymes (2006 World Doubles champs)
Jon Conrad and Tony Snyder (2012 World champs)
Ray and Jason Beierling (6-time World champs)
Rex and Tom Johnston (2011 3rd place World Doubles teams)
Dave and Matt Brown (2011 World Doubles runner-up)
Bill Freeman and Paul Brubacher (one-half of the 2001 World champs)

The preliminary round consisted of a full round-robin with each team playing 6 rounds against one another, with the top 4 proceeding to the page playoffs.

Leading the way with 105 points was Ray and Ron Haymes, followed by Ray and Jason Beierling with 100, and Jon Conrad and Tony Snyder with 96. Tied for the 4th and final spot were Tom and Rex Johnston and Fred Slater and Eric Miltenburg with 91, with the Johnston’s making the cut based on 207 20’s. Just missing out were Ab Leitch and Wayne Gingerich with 86 points, and John Harvey and Ron Reesor with 85 points.

Page Playoff action at the 2013 ODCC.

That set up a newly designed page playoff system, used primarily in curling. As a result the top 2 seeds, Ron and Ray Haymes and Jason and Ray Beierling, would compete for an entry into the finals, with the loser going to the semifinals. The other match would be the 3 vs 4 page playoff with the winner moving to the semifinals and the loser being eliminated. That 3 vs 4 match between Conrad/Snyder and Johnston/Johnston went the distance in a first to 10 point match with a point cap of 18, where Conrad/Snyder came out on top 18-16.

Jon Conrad sinks a 20 in the marathon match as Conrad/Snyder edges Johnston/Johnston.

In the 1 vs 2 match, Beierling/Beierling prevailed 11-3 over Haymes/Haymes to move to the final. That left a semifinal match between Haymes/Haymes and Conrad/Snyder for the last spot in the finals. Haymes/Haymes would reverse their fortunes from their previous match to win 11-3, and leave Conrad/Snyder to a 3rd place.

2013 ODCC Finals - Beierling/Beierling vs Haymes/Haymes

So the 2013 Ontario Doubles Champions would be decided with a rematch between Haymes/Haymes and Beierling/Beierling. The Beierlings would get an early edge, stealing one point against the hammer with a tie in the first round. The match was extremely tight, tied at 5-5, until the Beierlings took over to win the match 11-5 and take their first ever Ontario Doubles Crokinole title.

2013 ODCC Winners - Ray and Jason Beierling

The next stop on the 2013-2014 NCA Tour will be in Owen Sound for the Scenic City Crokinole Tournament on November 23, 2013.