Thursday, December 10, 2009

Draw 14: Howard vs. Martin

This will surely be one of the matches we have all waited to see. The Howard and Martin rinks are two of the best in the world. Unfortunately, both are guaranteed places in the play-offs. Fortunately, first place is at stake, with the attendant bye from the semi-finals (no page play-offs here). So with that at stake, it should be an exciting game.

End 1. Far from perfect curling from the front ends as they all miss or sort of miss their shots. Morris doubles off two Howard rocks, and then on his next shot tries to go around the only guard, but is wide open. Howard hits but stays open. Beautiful hit and roll by Howard behind the corner guard forces Martin to draw for one. Martin 1, Howard 0.

End 2. Both teams curled only 72% in the first end. It showed. In the second end, there are five rocks staggered along the centre line. Laing (Howard's second) takes out two and has his shooter roll to be a corner guard. Great shot. The rings are gradually being emptied with only two in the rings now plus a corner guard after the front end rocks have been thrown.
Morris's attempt to clear the house leaves a couple biting the rear. Hart inadvertently knocks them out, leaving only one rock in the house plus a corner guard. Hits and rolls by Hart and Martin. Hit and stick by Howard. Martin manages a hit and roll behind the corner guard. Howard has to draw for one in an end that looks a lot like the first end.

End 3. As we join the end in progress, Martin has a corner guard with the hammer while Howard tries to dominate the centre of the sheet. Beautiful shot by Kennedy (Martin's 2nd) clears the rings and rolls to be a corner guard on the opposite side. But a miss by Martin's team lets Howard set up well in the rings. Martin is forced to draw for one against three. Martin 2, Howard 1.



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