|Experience rules at NZ Under-21s|
Experience was the key in the finals of both the Men's and Women's NZ Junior Curling Championships at Naseby this weekend. The teams of Kris Miller and Lucy Harris / Brittany Taylor resisted the sprited challenge of Michael Smith's Maniototo and Chelsea Farley's Aucklanders respectively to take the honours.
The Miller team took charge early, taking a double with the hammer on the first end and stealing the next two. By the halfway stage of their match they had a 5-1 lead, and they continued with error-free curling to a 9-2 win.
In the Women's final, Team Farley stole the first two ends, conceded one on the third but then a wayward takeout on the fourth saw them drop a 4. The Harris team (skipped in the final two games by Brittany Taylor) then showed their international experience to control the game and record a 9-4 victory.
The experience of Keswick Pearson's Auckland side told early in the playoff for third and fourth against a young Otago Boys High School team. Team Pearson stole every end until the teams shook hands at 11-0 after six ends.
The NZ selectors announced the NZ Under-21 Men's and Women's teams for the 2010 Pacific Junior Championships immediately after the championships concluded.
Local derby in NZ Junior Men's final
9 August 2009 – The top two qualifiers in the NZ Junior Men's Curling Championship earned their place in this afternoon's final with comprehensive wins in their respective semi-finals this morning. The deciding match in the Women's best-of-three final will also be played this afternoon.
Kris Miller's four beat Otago Boy's High School 14-1, and on the adjoining rink Michael Smith's Maniototo side had a 13-1 victory over Keswick Pearson's Auckland.
Auckland's Team Farley took a 1-0 lead into the second match of their Women's Final against Lucy Harris' four. Three steals in the first four ends had the match tied up at 4-4 at the halfway stage. The Harris team, all NZ representatives last year, then took a 3 on the fifth and controlled the rest of the game for a 10-4 win.
The Men's Final, the 3rd/4th playoff and the deciding Women's match will start at 1:30pm this afternoon.
Semi-finallists confirmed at NZ Junior champs
8 August 2009 – Kris Miller's four, composed mainly of members from last year's NZ Junior Men's team, have emerged as the top qualifiers after pool play at this weekend's NZ Junior Curling Championships at Naseby.
They were undefeated in the preliminary round and will meet the fourth qualifier Otago Boy's High School in tomorrow's semi-final. Michael Smith's Maniototo side will play Keswick Pearson's Aucklanders in the other semi-final.
In the Women's draw, Auckland's Team Farley take a one-game advantage into the last two games of their best-of-three final against Lucy Harris' side.
The last day will get under way on Sunday morning, with the crucial finals following at 1:30pm.
Young curlers competing for national titles
7 August 2009 – An upset result in the first round brought the New Zealand Junior (Under-21) Championships to life on Friday evening. Four Men's teams and two Women's are vying for their national titles at Naseby's Maniototo Curling International rink.
Chelsea Farley's Aucklanders shocked the Lucy Harris four – who all played for last year's NZ Junior Women's team – when they deservedly won the first match of their best-of-three final. Oustanding draw play and consistent pressure were rewarded with three steals as Team Farley took a 7-3 win.
In other first round games Kris Miller's four overwhelmed Otago Boys High 14-2, and Michael Smith's Maniototo side constructed a good 6-4 win over the Auckland Men.
The second round of games saw Kris Miller take the local derby against Maniototo 10-5. In non-competition games the girls earned bragging rights when Team Farley continued their good form with a 6-2 win over Auckland Men, and Lucy Harris beat Otago Boys 7-4.
Round Robin Games willl continue through Saturday. The Men's semis and finals will be played on Sunday, along with the last two games of the best-of-three Women's final.