Local rink bows out early at provincial qualifier

Staff ~ The Amherst News
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AMHERST?- It was a rough weekend for Amherst's Howie Gray at the 15-team Nova Scotia Curling Association men's Molson Tankard northern zone qualifier at the Amherst Curling Club.
Gray, third Bob Sutherland, second Ray Fowler and lead Desi Hurley were sent to the sidelines early in the triple-knockout event, losing 8-3 to Mayflower's Jamie Murphy and 9-4 to Dan Christianson of CFB?Halifax on Friday, and 12-5 to an NSCA entry skipped by Mark Robar on Saturday.
Seven teams advanced from this qualifier to the 16-team provincial championship at the Mayflower club in Halifax from Feb. 3-7. Mayflower's Shawn Adams, the 2005 Brier finalist and three-time Tankard champion, and clubmate Doug MacKenzie went undefeated and clinched their spots Saturday.
Truro's Peter Burgess and Brent MacDougall of Mayflower advanced following Sunday's morning draw, and Christianson, Murphy and Mayflower's Ryan Garven sewed up the remaining berths with wins Sunday afternoon.
Seven berths were claimed at the southern zone playdowns in Wolfville. Advancing were 2004 Brier winner Mark Dacey, Ian Fitzner-LeBlanc and Ian Juurlink out of Mayflower, Chester's Chad Stevens, Sean Audas of CFB?Halifax, Windsor's Mark Kehoe and an NSCA entry skipped by Chris Sutherland.
The remaining two spots at provincials will be filled at a last-chance qualifier this weekend in Sydney.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Curling Association, Amherst Curling Club

Geographic location: Halifax, Molson Tankard northern, Wolfville Windsor Sydney

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