Jeff Thomas and his St. John’s Curling Club rink did exactly what they had to do, beating a previously undefeated Mark Noseworthy twice on to claim the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador senior men’s curling championship at the Caribou club in Stephenville.
Meanwhile, in the provincial senior women’s event, also held in Stephenville, Cathy Cunningham took the crown by downing St. John’s clubmate Laura Phillips 9-1 Saturday night.
Noseworthy, who like Thomas, curls out if the Re/Max Centre in St. John’s, went through the men’s round-robin with a 7-0 record, earning a bye directly to the final along with a double life.
Thomas and teammates Lorne Henderson, Paul Harvey and Wayne Young finished third in the round-robin at 5-2, a record that included 10-4 loss to Noseworthy and his rink of Glenn Turpin, Peter Hollett and Ross Young.
That meant Thomas had to take on second-place Bas Buckle (6-1) of Corner Brook in semifinal play, defeating Buckle, a five-time provincial senior men’s champion, 10-7 on Saturday morning.
Thomas then got by Noseworthy 8-6 on Saturday night, largely because of a four-point third end. But Noseworthy’s perfect round-robin record meant he had to be beaten twice to be denied the championship, which is exactly what Thomas did Sunday morning, stealing four points in the early going en route to a 10-5 victory.
The women’s provincial senior championship involved just three teams — Cunningham, two-time defending champion Thomas and Donna Davis of Corner Brook. They played a double round-robin, with Cunningham finishing 3-1, Thomas at 2-2 and Davis at 1-3.
There was just a single playoff game — Saturday night’s final, won easily by Cunningham, Diane Roberts, Heather Martin and Pam Tiller.
The Thomas and Cunningham rinks will represent Newfoundland at the Canadian senior championship March 22-30 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.