The quarterfinals of the Ramada Perth Masters saw the three remaining Canadian sides on the same half of the draw. Hammy McMillan matched up against Kevin Koe. That game was broken open when Hammy was light on a draw against two Canadian stones and Blake MacDonald had a free draw for a third and a 6-2 lead. Kerry Burtnyk always looked in command against Wayne Middaugh in the all Canadian battle, although he had to play a pressure draw with last stone of the game to secure his win.
On the other side of the draw David Murdoch and his team were off early against Yusuke Morozumi's Japanese team. Peter Loudon and Norway's Thomas Ulsrud was tighter, 1-1 after five. But Ulsrud pulled off the big shot in the sixth, counted four, and that game was sewn up.
So to the semis, Murdoch v Ulsrud and Burtnyk v Koe. The latter match was over first. Burtnyk counted three at the first and then could not get another point as Koe and his team powered into the final. The teams shook hands after six with Koe 8-3 in front. All the linescores are here.
Murdoch has played Ulsrud some six times this season, with the Scots 4-2 ahead on wins (I think) prior to this game. Certainly Murdoch had won the last two games, in the Euro final and again earlier in this competition. It was not to be three in a row. Tied at 1-1 after four ends, the Norwegians stole two singles and were 3-1 up in the eighth. Murdoch could not get a stone hidden, and Ulsrud had an open hit for the game.
So it was Edmonton's Koe against Norway's Ulsrud in the final and when the Alberta side put three on the board in the first end, I wondered if I would be down the road early. Not so. In an entertaining and fascinating next three ends, Ulsrud worked back to 3-2, only to give up a further two in the fifth, after a measure. Intricate, delicate stuff it was, interspersed with the big weight clearances that you really had to be ice side to appreciate 'Broxden roundabout' weight.
Norway got two back in the sixth (it should have been three) then stole a single in the seventh, when MacDonald was inches away with an angled raise that would have given the Canadians a big end. So it was down the last with the scores tied, and Koe with the hammer.
The Canadians were not to be deprived. MacDonald was left with a draw to the four foot for the title and he was right on the money. Great stuff!
Top: Perth Masters champs 2009 , Nolan Thiessen (lead), Carter Rycroft (second), Blake MacDonald (4th), Kevin Koe (skip).
The Final. Thomas Ulsrud, with Kevin Koe and Blake MacDonald behind.
Honda Accord - very low mileage!
Today's caption, "Hello down there!" Nolan Thiessen.
Thomas Ulsrud and David Murdoch in the semifinal.
Pete Smith, "Not our day!"
Kerry Burtnyk, with Blake MacDonald and Kevin Koe (behind) in the semifinal.
Did I mention that Ramada is the competition's title sponsor? Blake MacDonald getting excited.
Blake again with Carter Rycroft. Presenting sponsor West End Garage, Broughty Ferry.
Pics by Bob.
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