2014 NZ Junior Championships

Hamish Walker and Ben Smith
Hamish Walker and Ben Smith

20 Jul 2014 – Five teams contested the 2014 NZ Junior Curling Championships over the weekend: two Men's, two Women's, and a young mixed team who were not eligible for medals.

The teams played a full round robin, with additional Men's and Women's games to make up a best-of-three series to determine the respective titles.

Simon Neilson skipped his Maniototo Area School side of Joshua White, Matthew Neilson, Ben Smith and Hunter Walker to the Men's gold medal. The Women's event was won by Eleanor Adviento, Eloise Pointon, Elle Steele and Catherine Greer.

Men's Championship

Team Neilson faced Auckland's Garion Long in the first round on Friday. A 4-point second end was the difference in this first match, Neilson winning 8-4. In their second match Team Long (with Josh Fogo, Ben Frew and Matt Hohaia) scored 3 in the first end and were never headed as they went on to a 6-2 victory to level the series and set up a decider on Sunday afternoon.

The final match was another one-sided affair. A 4-pointer in the seventh end sealed Neilson's 9-3 win and the gold medal.

Women's Championship

Team Adviento faced Emma Sutherland, Mhairi-Bronté Duncan, Kelsey Mee, Diana Yeritsyan and Heloise Fitzpatrick in the first match of their series on Saturday afternoon. Honours were even after the first half of the game, but Adviento dominated the final four ends to win 10-4.

Needing a win on Sunday morning, Team Sutherland rocked their opponents with a huge 6 points in the fourth end to take a 7-3 lead. But Adviento fought back strongly and stole the last two ends to take the match 11-9 and secure the gold.

The mixed side of Hamish Walker, Bailey Dowling, Courtney Smith and Tash Whyte played all four teams during prelminary rounds and earned a 2-2 win-loss record, showing the benefit of their tough competition at the previous weekend's National Championships.