Repeats as Belles and Brooms champion defeating Highland's Ruth Alexander
8-1, in the A flight final at the St. Thomas Curling Club
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Dale Sinclair has joined a select group at the Belles and Brooms Bonspiel.
The skip, teammates Carol Johnson, Rosemary Gowman and Bernie Gillet, representing the Port Perry curling club, won the A flight division for a second consecutive year, defeating Highland Curling Club's Ruth Alexander in the final.
Scoring four in the fourth end carried the Sinclair rink to an 8-1 victory and a spot on a short list of repeat winners, at the annual event hosted by the St. Thomas Curling Club.
"We're finally playing better together. We focused on what we have been practising. We each have little things that we're supposed to remember to do and we were playing attention to that," said Sinclair, who is from St. Thomas.
The skip credits her teammates for the victory.
"They played really well. They're the ones making (me) look good, with the sweeping and everything," Sinclair said. "Most of my shots today were just guards. They were playing so well that I got the easy shots."
It was a tight game until the Sinclair rink scored four in the fourth end, making it a 7-1 advantage.
"When we picked up that four, I could play a different kind of game," Sinclair said. "I got it on an even end and that makes a difference to me. I blanked the first (end) so I could get the hammer."
The score wasn't an indication of the play on the ice.
"I've played Ruth several times before (including senior provincials), Sinclair said. "I knew who I was up against. I tried playing a different game because I knew what type of game she plays.
Alexander herself won back to back Belles and Brooms in 2013 and 2014 and captured the top award again in 2016.
Repeating as Belles and Brooms champions gives confidence to the Sinclair rink as they prepare for the upcoming Masters provincials in January. Sinclair skipped teams to a provincial title in both 2017 and 2018.
Sinclair also has a senior provincial crown on resume, along with Gorman, won in 2010.
Since the four players hail from different communities, St. Thomas, Port Perry, Galt and Thornhill, practicing together is rare, therefore the Belles and Brooms gave them an opportunity to practice and play against good competition.
"This is a really good warm-up, the fact that we get four games back to back. Whether we win or lose the games, we are practising on stuff," Sinclair said. "We like to do it (win) again this year. That's the goal and to go to Canadians."
Qualifiers for provincials occur at four locations on December 13th. The masters' provincial final is January 8, 2020, in Midland.
A member of the St. Thomas Curling Club, Sinclair is also excited for two major provincial events coming to the Railway City.
The Ontario Senior men and women's events, for curlers 50 years and over, hits the ice February 19-23, 2020.
Then St. Thomas will host two bigger provincial tournaments in 2021.
"We have the Hearts and the Tankard," said Sinclair. "It's really big. The impact on the community is huge. Those players will be here for a week. It's a huge impact economically on the community."
Those provincial winners advance to the Briar for the men and the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for the women.