Monday, February 06, 2012

Curling Recap: 2/3/12

Career game #165: 2012 Winter League - February 3, 2012

End.......... 1234567S |TTL
Allen........ 01001041 | 07
Wright....... 20120100 | 06

I owe my team big here.

Early on, I don't think we were playing that badly. I seem to have gotten away from my early strategy of throwing guards, and that left the other team plenty of opportunities to make their shots. A bounce here or there was the difference between being down 5-2 after the 5th, and maybe even being ahead at that point.

Now...the 6th end. We played it wonderfully. With one shot remaining for each team (other team had last rock), we were sitting two, and both rocks were either reasonably guarded or hard to get to (rocks #1 and #2 in the pic below). BUT, there was a giant lane right up the middle. The obvious play was to guard that lane, while keeping in mind that I was playing against a Skip who is (normally) very proficient at take-outs. The absolute last thing I wanted to do was leave a wide-open take-out for one. Whatever you do, don't put it right in the middle of the house!

Opposing Skip Lance followed that up with the hit for one and a 6-2 lead. Missed shots are one thing, but when you do the absolute worst possible thing you could do...yikes. I was pretty hard on myself after that one, especially since we played the end so well only for me to give it away.

Then came the 7th end, in which everything went our way. Rocks in the house? Check. Double take-out? Check. (Thanks Joe!) A couple of fortunate breaks? Check. Lance doesn't miss take-outs very often, but he missed both of his take-out attempts in the 7th, giving me a wide open house (no guards whatsoever, plenty of backing (all four of our rocks were in one cluster), where all I had to do was NOT BE LIGHT and we had the game-winning 5-ender. And...I was light!
When I tweeted on Friday that I made two BRUTAL mistakes in Friday's game, this is what I meant. On my final shot of each of the last two ends, I did the absolute worst possible thing I could have done. And we won anyway! Thanks for picking me up, team!

But I still made enough good shots throughout the game so that I'm feeling pretty good about our chances, and my ability to make that "make this draw to the button or we give up five points" shot when needed, going into this week's Francis Dykes "5 and under" men's bonspiel in Utica, NY. Full preview Wednesday morning!

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