Josh Aldrich, Daily News
Published: Monday, January 28, 2013
Second place still feels pretty good to Ellis Tull. The Nanaimo second for the Rich Green Rink out of Vancouver came up just short of a second-straight trip to nationals on Sunday at the 2013 ThyssenKrupp Elevators Ltd. B.C. Wheelchair Curling Championship at the Nanaimo Curling Club.
They fell 9-8 to the Gary Cormack rink out of the Marpole and Richmond Curling Clubs. The Green rink also included Bob MacDonald out of Vancouver at third, Corrine Jensen at lead out of Nanaimo ad Samantha Siu as co-lead out of the Marpole and Richmond Curling Clubs.
The weekend was a success as the curlers made a statement to be taken seriously by curious onlookers with great shot making and a high level of play. But it was also a big weekend for curling club, which has been working towards the event for a decade.
"It actually started way back in 2002 just making handicap bathrooms. This is well worth it. When you see the joy on the faces of those competing and the fellowship is just awesome between the teams, it makes it all worthwhile."
Tull was part of the provincial-winning team last year and went to nationals along with Jensen, but his role on that team was different than this one. It was also important for him to be apart of this event in his hometown.
"Even though it's not a gold medal this year, I feel better doing it in front of the people that volunteered at the club," said Tull, an event co-chair.
The next step is to create a team of just Nanaimo curlers and get to nationals next year.
"If you play together twice a week, all the time, you get to know each other's tendencies, it's just more of a complete meshing of your talents," said Tull.
"When you play together once or twice a year, it just doesn't work."
The final was a roller coaster ride for the two teams.
Cormack took an early 2-0 lead in the first end, but Green struck back with a single in the second, stole two in the third and stole four more in the fourth to take a commanding 7-2 lead.
But the advantage didn't last the next end.
Cormack scored five in the fifth and stole one each in the sixth and seventh to take a 9-7 lead.
With the hammer in the eighth end, Green was only able to get a single as the Cormack rink punched their ticket for nationals in Ottawa.
"(In the fourth end) we made all our shots . . . every position played their shots perfect, and when they came back they id the same thing, every shot they made, they couldn't have made them any better," said Tull of the wild swings. "We didn't play bad shots, they just played out of their head shots."
Just to get to the final was a big deal for the Green rink, who played their best on Sunday.
They lost both of their games on Saturday by wide margins. They found their groove in the semifinal, beating the Gerry Aus-tgarden rink 9-5 to advance to the gold medal game.
The tournament off the ice ran smoothly as well, thanks in large part to the volunteers made up mostly of club members and community sponsorship, said Wood.