Local foursome wins provincial silver

For curling newcomer Zosia Ettenberg, there definitely was a silver lining to the 2014 B.C. Wheelchair Curling Championship.

The 68-year-old Ettenberg played lead on the Bob MacDonald-skipped team that finished second at the three-day event that ran Jan. 24-26 at the Coquitlam Curling Centre.

In the Jan. 26 title match, Team MacDonald fell 7-2 to a squad skipped by Richmond’s Darryl Neighbour, who was a member of the Jim Armstrong squad that won gold at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics.

The Neighbour-skipped team including third Frank LaBounty, second Vince Miele, and lead Alison Duddy will now prepare for the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship being held April 28 to May 4 in Montreal.

In addition to Neighbour, there was a smattering of B.C. and national champions throughout the teams, including Ettenberg’s teammate Gary Cormack, last year’s winning B.C. skip and 2010 national champion.

The silver medal-winning foursome included MacDonald from Vancouver, Cormack from Cloverdale (third), Langley resident John Boyko (second), and Ettenberg.

While her team finished second, Ettenberg, in just her second year curling, cherished the experience.

“What a great weekend,” said Ettenberg, who was profiled in the Jan. 23 Langley Advance [Advocate for disabled also wants to rock].

The competition had some drama.

During the Jan. 25 semifinal against a foursome skipped by West Kelowna’s Gerry Austgarden, Team MacDonald trailed by six stones in the sixth end.

This set the stage for a remarkable comeback.

“Talk about the phrase don’t ever give up,” Ettenberg said. “It would have been so easy to quit but we persevered, and in the seventh end we scored three rocks and in the final end we had four rocks in the house, but the other team had the hammer. The skip threw the final rock and it sailed right through the house without touching any one of the four rocks we had in there and that guaranteed us the silver.”

In the championship game, Team MacDonald did well in Ettenberg’s opinion, but came up short against a skilled and veteran side.

“Considering that we had two newbies on our team, we did very well and I am so very proud of them,” Ettenberg said. “Who knows what will happen next year.”

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