Team Pidgeon wins Intermediate Provincial Championships

Elmira curling team emerges from close play in Fenelon Falls with victories over other Ontario qualifiers

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Team Pidgeon from the Elmira & District Curling Club has won the 2017 Women’s Intermediate Provincial Championships. The team, Mary Pidgeon, Jackie Gidge, Colleen Coughlin and Twyla Gilbert had a 5-2 record at the tournament. [Liz Bevan / The Observer]
Elmira & District Curling Club’s own Team Pidgeon has won the 2017 Intermediate Provincial Championships.

From Mar. 1-5, the team, made up of Mary Pidgeon, Twyla Gilbert, Jackie Gidge, Colleen Coughlin, visited Fenelon Falls Curling Club to compete against seven other provincial qualifiers.

The tournament got off to a great start for Elmira, with a win against last year’s winner, Team Grant from Thornhill.

“That was a great start for us. It was a good feeling,” said Coughlin. “We just kind of got on a roll.”

The second game was a loss to a team they beat in 2016.

All eight teams at the tournament play a round robin, leaving the two teams with the best record to face off against each other in the final. This year was a bit different, however, with three teams tied in the top spot.

“At the end, there were three teams with a 5-2 record and we had each beat each other. It is a weird way to figure out who is in first. We all deliver a rock at the same time on a different sheet, and whoever is the closest to the button, gets to the final. We won by an inch,” said Gilbert. “With that, we had surpassed our goal for the week.”

Team Pidgeon lost just two of the eight games they played, and some wins were more satisfying than others.

“Friday, we beat the team that we ended up playing in the final from Orangeville,” said Gilbert.

“That felt really good,” added Coughlin. “For me, the highlight was beating Michelle Grey. I have played that team a couple of times and I always lose by just a little bit, so finally beating them was great.”

Pidgeon, Gilbert and Coughlin competed at the same level last winter, but this year, there was a new addition in Gidge.

She says she couldn’t have asked for a better group of women to hit the rink with.

“I had never been to a provincial and I didn’t know what to expect, but it was great,” said Gidge. “We got along really well and I felt at home with the team. We can joke about things.”

Gilbert says the team didn’t go into the provincial competition looking to win it all, but it certainly isn’t anything to sneeze at.

“We went into it looking to win more than lose,” she said. “Several of these ladies have competed at the provincial Tournament of Hearts, which none of us have, so when we beat them, that is what is satisfactory. It is saying, ‘yes, we can step on the ice and yes we can compete with these women that have done this before.’”

A large part of their success comes down to compatibility. The team rarely gets a chance to practice together outside of their regular league play, so it was important that everyone got along.

“I think we just go out and have fun. It is not like we went out there to win,” said Gidge.

“There is just that chemistry in how we all get along,” added Gilbert.

This is it for the year for Team Pidgeon, although the women will be finishing out the season with their regular teams.

For full results from the 2017 Intermediate Provincial Championships, visit www.ontcurl.com.