By Woodard, Dale on February 4, 2020.
Dave Manser has won a few Men’s Shirtsleeve Bonspiels.
As of Sunday afternoon’s come-from-behind 8-7 win over familiar opponent Gary Jensen in the final of the 81st annual Shirtsleeve Bonspiel, that number is now up to five or six.
Still, no matter how many teams are in the field, a win at the eight-decade-plus bonspiel is always one to be cherished.
“Back when I was younger and there were 80 or 90 teams it was a real marathon,” said Manser, whose rinks consists of third Mike Mulroy, second Ryan Vaughan and lead Blaine Metzger. “But there are still good teams to beat. It’s not easy to do. So it’s a fun week and if you can win it it’s that much nicer.”
In the A-final Sunday, Manser had the hammer coming home, down 7-5 after Jensen made a precision draw to steal one in the seventh.
“We had a pretty comfortable lead and then when he makes that good draw,” said Manser. “Giving up a steal of one is fine, but we didn’t want to give up the steal of two because now we’re losing momentum and they’re feeling good. He made a pistol in seven.”
With Manser lying three in the eighth, Jensen chipped off a stone in front of the house to give Manser the trio and this year’s Shirtsleeve title and the cash prize of $1,200.
“I slid a little deep, so we kind of wanted things at the top of the house instead of behind the t-line, but it worked out. We got lucky,” said Manser.
There was no lack of familiarity between the two A-event finalists.
“We play them a lot and we play them in bonspiels and it’s always a tight game,” said Manser. “They always play well.”
Manser has a little history with his own team as well, starting with his lead.
“We’ve played together since we were kids and probably 30 Shirtsleeves together,” said Manser.
Vaughan is the husband of local curler Jodi Marthaller.
“We played a couple of times with him and Mike used to be the president (at the Lethbridge Curling Club) and we’ve played a lot bonspiels with him, too,” said Manser.
Winning the B-event and $1,000 was Team Granger consisting of Ken Bruno, Ed Granger, Gerald Ontkean, Bob Riewe, while the Team Andrews rink Steve Andrews, Scott Sailer, Randy Nygaard and Andy Smith were the C-event winners, taking home $800.
The Grant Gillies rink of Darren Gillies, Brady Gillies and Dustin Gillies cashed in on $700, winning the D-event.
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