Friday, December 11, 2009

Roar of the Rings - Women's Tiebreaker 1 - McCarville-Lawton

Two young teams, Lawton having survived into the tiebreaker by delivering a first defeat to Bernard, and McCarville by beating Webster.
END #1: Pretty wide open exchange of hit and stick shots. Russ Howard points out that one advantage to this for both teams is that they save some time they may have to use later in more complicated situations. Lawton hits and sticks once more than intended, fails to blank and takes one.
END #2: With her first shot, McCarville removes a well-guarded Lawton rock from the house, and rolls into the open. Lawton hits but does not roll behind cover. McCarville does not get the roll out of the house, and takes an undesired single. 1-1.
END #3
: McCarville puts a rock on the button behind a guard, after a hit but roll out by Lawton's team. Lawton makes a great run-back double, clearing the house and the guard. McCarville runs a rock through the house, not intentionally. Lawton goes through the house, intentionally. Still 1-1.
Apparently McCarville had noted during the week that she was 3-0 with straight hair, and not so potent with her hair curled. So the team is out this morning with straight hair. Russ Howard comments that he played much better when he had hair.
END #4
: First complicated end. Hosse has more or less vertically aligned Lawton and McCarville rocks, in two pairs. There is a front guard partly covering the aligned rocks. Singler wobbles coming out of the hack, overrotates, and removes her own front rock, the shooter rolling out. Tara George puts up a guard, covering the rocks in the house. Kasner removes both front guards. Tara George makes a great pick shot, removing the Lawton rock from its position in front of the button; the rock is still just hgugging the rings at the back. Kasner removes the front McCarville rock. McCarville removes Kasner's rock but rolls towards her other rock, allowing a double. Lawton makes it perfectly, and now sits two. Howard says it is a shot he would not even have tried, as it had to be done so thin. McCarville now needs a long double, and gets it! Who are these unmasked women! Fantastic curling. Howard - the room for error on the last two shots was about the width of a penny. Lawton hits and inadvertently sticks again. 2-1 Lawton.
END #5: McCarville (George) goes behind two Lawton guards. Kasner taps it back, and Lawton also has a rock on the centre-line. George does not quite freeze to it, but close. Lawton intends to freeze to that rock, not necessarily getting shot rock. She taps it more than wanted (Howard calls it a half-inch miss.) McCarville taps Lawton's rock, barely missing her freeze. It is difficult to tell which rocks are counting. Lawton now plans to tap her centre-line rock into the button. She gets it there but it is not buried and McCarville may have a double for three, possibly four (I suspect there will be a measurement.) Howard has pointed out steadily through the end that McCarville has forced the hitting Lawton team to play touch shots. McCarville's shot is perfect! Looks like four to me. Man, that was an aggressive and exciting end. 5-2 McCarville. Seems time for McCarville to renounce the touch and start hitting.
There was a good discussion early in teh broadcast on a topic I have long wondered about, how the McCarville rink, stuck way up in Northern Ontario, get good tough practice sessions. It turns out they play regularly in a men's league, and, as Russ Howard pointed out, when you have Al Hackner on the opposing team, you learn quickly not to leave many good hitting opportunities on the ice.
END #6: McCarville puts the first couple of rocks in the house in front of the button, and then peels. Kasner tries a gentle tap back but it not gentle enough. McCarville clears that rock and rolls out. Lawton is thinking about the double to set up a blank, but it is now a long double. The deliberations are curious to watch as Lawton consults Lana Vey; Howard cannot figure out why. She misses the double and leaves a McCarville rock in the house. McCarville clears that rock; Howard says Lawton's double will not allow her to roll out, exactly as McCarville wants. Lawton decides to hit where Howard would draw, and makes her single. It says an awful lot about the quality of women's curling that Howard is constantly saying he would not try the shot being played right in front of him, usually successfully.
END #7: Lorraine Lang is curling 94%! We're back to peeling after her rocks. There is a Lawton rock in the eight-foot on the centre-line, and McCarville rocks behind it on the button and the back 12-foot. Lawton is throwing up guards, and George double the guard and the Lawton rock in the house away, but sits out front. Kasner rubs on that front guard and goes through the house. George puts another rock by the button. Lawton plans to freeze on shot rock - she won't be shot but she has one more rock. She leaves about a foot between her rock and McCarville's backing rocks. McCarville chips it out but leaves a spot to freeze into. And Lawton does, beautifully. McCarville is now designing another crazy shot - hitting one of her own rocks very thin to bounce into the house almost horizontally and clear the Lawton rock. She finally backs off and taps the Lawton rock back to take one. 6-3 McCarville.
END 8#: Usual protocol. Lang puts two rocks in the house, and then McCarville starts peeling guards. Singler wrecks on one of her own guards trying to come into the house and her rock becomes a centre guard. We have guards on both sides of the house as well. George removes the centre guard but we have corner guards on both sides, so Lawton gets another shot at it. Kasner is a bit heavy and her tap on the rocks in the house slides into the open. George, under clear instruction, makes a perfect shot, removing the Kasner rock, and one of her own, and slides up into the front in the eight-foot. Kasner whacks the McCarville rocks, lying open, and leaving two McCarville rocks in the house, but nowhere really to freeze. As Howard says, this end cannot now be blanked, and it is hard to see where two will come from. McCarville removes the Kasner rock and sticks. So there IS a freeze, a McCarville rock at 9 o'clock in the eight-foot. And thatr is Lawton's intention. Very nice - Lawton is shot rock and there is only about a six inch separation. McCarville does not get shot rock because of an overcurl. Draw for two for Lawton. Lawton is heavy. Measurement! Howard - "It's amazing how many times you don't think you're shot rock and you are." Lawton did go too far - 6-4 McCarville with the hammer into the ninth. This is BY NO MEANS over.
END #9: Amusing discussion from Howard about the forms for the Olympics. Apparently they are full of slots for the names of your parents, but not for the names of your children. Ageism! Anyway, back to the match. Lawton centre guard, Lawton rock in the house on the centre line eight foot, McCarville rock on the button. I missed what Kasner did, it must have been a goof-up, and George clears the centre guard. Kasner puts a rock up beside their other rock in the house. George misses the double, but the shooter stays in the house. Lawton now seems to be playing a guard, puzzling Russ Howard, as McCarville has a rock on the button, and would surely be happy with one. It IS a great guard, but why it is there also baffles me. McCarville peels. Lawton tries a tap back but does not get shot. McCarville has a number of ways to get two now - she elects a draw, which might be heavy, and could wind up giving Lawton one. Apparently someone in the crowd shouted "Throw it away", and Howard asks "Was it Kevin Martin?" McCarville makes a brilliant shot but it looks like one. One it is - 7-4 into the tenth, hammer to Lawton.
END #10: TSN let us miss the first two rocks. I think I am adopting a new policy. I will list the last two advertisers in each TSN ad break and invite readers to boycott that company. This time one of them was MicroForce, selling some silly-looking shaver. Please do not buy it.
McCarville threw one through but then left one as well in the house, and now they have a guard (a failed peel). Lawton throwing up guards, McCarville peeling. Howard is baffled that McCarville wants her rock in the house. McCarville's peeling is weird - she now has two rocks in the house. Why any? Lawton needs a timeout - I can understand - she has few rocks left. Lawton seems worried about being shot, and Howard points out that she has much larger problems than that and being shot means you get peeled! Lawton's coach, Brian McCusker, gets rid of the goal of being shot, and Kasner tries to get behind a corner guard, but still pretty open. George completely misses the Kasner rock! Kasner misses her attempted freeze and goes right through the house. Disaster for Lawton. She's out of rocks if McCarville removes one Lawton rock. And she does. Handshakes. And Lawton's Olympic dream dies. Sport is brutal - someone loses.
Great match though.
And just a passing thought. It seems to me that over the years the women's curling PI (pulchritude index) has been rising fairly steadily. A bit like golf. Both events are becoming through competition much more competitive.
Back in a couple of hours with McCarville-Holland!


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