Northern Lights shine in Auckland

26 Oct 2010 – The Northern Lights team of Lorne DePape, Dean Fotti and Jo Norman won a hotly contested Auckland Open Bonspiel over Labour Weekend, heading off J3 (Josh Dallow, Jon Jaksic and Jarred Jaksic) in a final match that was much tighter that the score of 10-5 would suggest.

Six teams lined up at the start of the event on Sunday afternoon, including Charlie McLeod's defending champions from Dunedin.

After the pool rounds had been completed on Monday morning the top of the leaderboard was congested, three teams having a 3 win / 1 loss record. This forced a tiebreaker to find the two finalists, and after two players from each team drew to the button it was Latitude (Kenny Williamson, Ian Ford, Linda Farley) who were the team to miss out.

A crucial pool match late the previous evening saw Latitude come from 5-0 down and needing to steal three on the last to gain a draw against Northern Lights. As Lorne DePape lined up his hammer stone for Northern Lights he found his side four down, with two guards protecting a tightly packed group of stones. However a beautifully weighted draw found the gap to cut his opponents down to one and give his team its third straight win.

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In their final Northern Lights seemed to be in control as they led 9-5 coming home, but J3 had hammer. With just the final stones from both skips to come J3 held 4, perhaps 5 shots and DePape's attempted takeout looked to be off target. But – as he later admitted – fate was kind to him when a faint wick off a guard helped his stone hit and roll behind cover to hold one. J3 had a difficult chance to remove it but were unsuccessful.

So the DePape-Frauenlob trophy, donated by current Club President Peter Taylor and named for Auckland's 2006 Olympians, had Lorne DePape's name on it again. The J3 team were far from despondent after finishing as runners-up. The Jaksic brothers capped off a memorable season, having won the Auckland C Division title with their rookie club team the week before.

The playoff for 3rd and 4th between Latitude and Dunedin (Charlie McLeod, Ash Beattie, Reece Aiken, Sam Inder) was a game of singles, and a steal to Latitude was the difference as they won 4-2. Hammertime (Chelsea Farley, Tessa Farley, Eleanor Adviento) controlled the 5th/6th game against Thistles (Liz Matthews, Christine Bewick, Pauline Farra), winning 7-1.

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