The women's and men's finals at the K-W Fall Classic were a study in contrasts with repeat winners coming through in both.
Rocks were in play in almost every end for the women but Julie Hastings - winning a fourth time in six seasons - escaped with a win when Jacqueline Harrison, already lying two, came up just inches shy of tying the game with her final draw in the eighth end. Hastings was a winner 6-5.
"I wish we would have made more shots in the last end than that," said a relieved Hastings after the game. "But we pulled it off."
Tied 3-3 after five ends, Hastings scored two in the sixth in relative open play.
"It was an open two, an easy two, so that was definitely the turning point for us," said Hastings.
She stole another point in seven to take a three-point lead going home without hammer. A couple of misses set up the possible three for Harrison. The draw looked good for the third point before fudging in the slide path.
In the men's game, no one was looking to mix it up between Scott McDonald and Rich Krell until the fourth end. Fifteen straight draws with a mess behind the T-line looked like it might still end with minimal score as Krell made a top notch corner freeze with his last shot, at least one-third buried. McDonald's team was certain a high weight pick of the stone would work out well. When the dust settled it was a five-spot.
"We knew sooner or later that would happen," said McDonald. "There were a lot of rocks behind the T-line but we got fortunate there was shot . . . to get a big end and we took advantage of it."
Krell took one in the sixth to make it 5-1 and shook after McDonald blasted away a steal opportunity in the sixth.
It was the second straight year for McDonald winning at the Fall Classic.
The Classic was initiated by K-W Granite's Marc Joyce seven years ago and he has run the event every year. It has grown into a regular spot on the Ontario Curling Tour and considered part of the World Curling Tour. Joyce is stepping down as chair of the event as his family life gets busier but should be extremely proud at establishing this event and attracting elite curlers from around the province and internationally. Team China was among this year's men competitors and Erika Brown representing Wisconsin (she resides in Oakville) is another regular.
A replacement for Joyce has not yet been named.