Monday, April 22, 2013

Curling Recap: 4/19/13

It's CURLING LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP TIME!

Career game #218: 2013 Winter League Championship - April 19, 2013

End........... 12345678 |TTL
----------------------------
Allen......... 21210102 | 09
Witcraft...... 00004040 | 08

Here's the "end by end recap":

1st end: I think what happened here is that we got two rocks in the house, one behind the other with separation; the other team then tried a take-out, and it overcurled or something. So, two points! That despite my two shots not really helping much. (The table was set well before my turn came.)

2nd end: The other team got off to a good start here and were sitting, I think, two, before my shots. My first shot was an almost-to-the-button draw that cut them down to one; the second shot promoted my first shot just enough to score the one. Looking good so far.

3rd end: Another raise or two here in this end to score two more, perhaps aided by a takeout-gone-awry from the other team. The zamboni gave us a nice little valley down the middle four feet of the sheet, and most every rock converged to the center because of that. This means that in most ends, the center part of the ice got very cluttered very quickly, which meant that a lot of the late end shots (i.e. my shots) all night long consisted of raises and such, because that's all we had available to us. But despite the "ice convergence", take-outs weren't gimmes, either, because it was a pretty wide valley, and the specific lines themselves were not consistent. Only the fact that it was difficult to get outside the center four feet was consistent throughout the game.

(Note - the 2nd and 3rd ends were probably the only ends all night long where I made my shots.)

4th end: The afore-mentioned "ice convergence" means that leaving a rock short, but in the way, could still work out for you. You can always promote it later. Or...maybe an opponent rock won't do what they had in mind and will bump up your rock for you? That's what happened here: prior to the last shot, the other team was sitting two, and their draw for three instead bumped one of our rocks into the house for another steal of one.

We've been playing well so far, and we've been getting the breaks. Can we keep it up?

5th end: Nope! When the other team makes most of their shots, and you don't, you give up four. You know it's bad when against four opponent rocks in the house, the best shot you can come up with is to hit one out and cut them down to three. But the thing is, every time we tried to use an outside line, it ended badly, so I still think that was the best option at the time. If you can force your opponent to use an unconventional or unpredictable line on their last shot that hasn't been used all end long, you've done your job.

6th end: Prior to my two shots, we sat one. First shot: heavy draw, right through the house. Second shot: heavy draw, right through the house. Well, good thing we didn't actually need to make those shots.

7th end: See "5th end".

8th end: After all that, we're down one with hammer in the final end, which is not a terrible place to be. General strategy: get one in the house, and cover it up before even thinking about the second point. The other team was very accurate with their take-outs in the second half of the game - almost ridiculously so, hence their scoring of two four-enders - so we absolutely could not leave anything open. I would also rather not leave myself with a high pressure shot for the win (or tie) myself, if I could avoid it.

It was actually setting up that way, with us sitting one, with one rock remaining for each team. I left my first rock a little short, so I was thinking of trying to raise it for two and the win...but then, opposing Skip Nick had his last shot go awry, and he ended up doing that for us. And, that was that.

Okay, so there are a couple of takeaways from this: a) Rocks in play = good, because you never know. b) Next time I lose a League Championship game that I feel we should have won, I'll just remember that this game happened.

And now, our championship team! Vice Patrick, Second Steve, and Lead Dos Equis Guy. (We had a three-person team, and had four or so different spares play Lead for us throughout the season. Dos Equis Guy represents all of the rotating spares, I suppose. Thanks, team! In 70+ games as Skip, I've learned that how well you do as a Skip depends mostly on your teammates. Photo courtesy of the Triangle Curling Club.)


The season's over, but it'll be an important summer for the Triangle Curling Club as we work towards building our own club. Much more to come in the weeks ahead.

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