18 Oct 2010 – For the third year running, Auckland Curling Club's Premier League Final was a last-stone thriller. And for the third year running, the skip of the winning team was a Scotsman called Kenny.
Last year Kenny Thomson led A.R.S.E. to a dramatic extra-end win to take the Cameron Shield, and this year Altitude's Kenny Williamson clinched the title with his last stone to repeat his team's 2008 victory.
Curlers with Altitude (Kenny Williamson, Kieran Ford, Dylan Ford, Ian Ford) controlled the first half of the final against NZ Under-21 champions Cleansweep (Chelsea Farley, Thivya Jeyaranjan, Tessa Farley, Emily Whelan) – on the scoreboard at least. Auckland's notorious ice seemed a little two-paced, but Altitude were on top scoring doubles against singles initially, and led 4-2 after four of the eight ends.
However Cleansweep placed stones that eluded their opponents to steal the next three, and Altitude found themselves 4-6 down with hammer on the final end.
As Williamson lined up his final stone, his side had two rocks in the house but Cleansweep held shot, and there were plenty out the front. He and third Kieran Ford read the draw across the centre line perfectly though, and he found the way through to hit and stay, score 3 and win the match 7-6.
Earlier, Liz Matthews' Thistles were too consistent in their A Division 3rd/4th playoff against Brett Sargon's Black Ice, winning 7-2. Kohi Diamonds headed Compass Box 6-3 for 5th.
The B Division final was won by Frosties (Keswick Pearson, Sam Brady, Will Armitage, Brad Pearce) who jumped out to an early lead over Jacksons (Aaron Jackson, Iain Craig, Warren Jackson, Verily Jackson) and went on to win 9-3. In the 3rd/4th playoff Craig Parr-Whalley's Sliders and Brittany Taylor's Rockers were happy to shake hands at 3-3 after six ends.
Newcomers Cheryl's Boyz (Jon Jaksic, Jordan Irwin, Jarred Jaksic, Dominic O'Keefe, Trent O'Keefe) capped off a memorable first season with a solid 7-2 victory against another young team End Steele (Blake Steele, Kieran Grieve, Robert Giles, Callum Cummings, Morgan Long) to win the C Division title. Third place went to Granite who stole the last to beat Hot Rollers 6-5.
In the Club's prizegiving immediately after the games, Club Captain Craig Parr-Whalley presented new members with their club pins. He also handed out a new trophy – the Big End Award – to Compass Box for the 6-pointer they scored earlier in the season.
11 Oct 2010 – After 155 games of Preliminary rounds, Championship rounds and then Semi-Finals Auckland's 5-month curling season will come to a head this Sunday evening when Finals of the three divisions will be decided at Paradice Avondale.
The A Division Final will feature top qualifiers and 2008 champions Altitude (Kenny Williamson, Kieran Ford, Dylan Ford, Ian Ford) against rising stars Cleansweep (Chelsea Farley, Thivya Jeyaranjan, Tessa Farley, Emily Whelan), who won the recent NZ Women's Under-21 title and were named in the country's Junior Women's representative team.
The B Division final pits another Under-21 team, Keswick Pearson's Frosties, against Team Jackson while two more young teams contest the C division title – End Steele and newcomers Cheryl's Boyz.
Playoff games for third to sixth places in all divisions start at 5:30 pm this Sunday 17th October, with the finals getting under way soon after 7:00 pm. Entry is free at Paradice Ice Arena, 150 Lansford Crescent, Avondale.