Andrew Symonds and his St. John’s rink will be playing for a bronze medal Saturday at the Travelers national club curling championships in Kingston, Ont.
Symonds, third Mark Healy, second Dave Noftall and lead Keith Jewer made it to a Friday-night semifinal, but lost 5-2 to British Columbia. That means the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives will play in the bronze-medal game Saturday morning.
British Columbia will face Manitoba for the gold.
Friday night’s loss denied Symonds his second Traveler’s championship in the last three years; he, Healy and Keith Jewer, along with Cory Ewart, won the title in 2015.
Symonds didn’t compete in the national event last year; Travelers regulations don’t permit defending champions to return the following season.
The Travelers (formerly the Dominion) is most often referred to as a club championship, but it is very much a national tier 2 event providing a high level of competition for curlers who haven’t recently taken part in provincial, national or Grand Slam events.
Each team is allowed only one player who has played in a provincial/territorial junior, men’s, women’s or seniors championship or in a full-field Grand Slam event in the current or previous four curling seasons.
As well, no player on Travelers teams can have played in a Canadian junior, men’s (Brier), women’s (Scotties) or senior national championship in the current or previous four seasons.
The Symonds rink, out of the Re/Max Centre in St. John’s, was 4-2 in the round robin this week Kingston, giving it third place in its pool and a quarter-final date with host Ontario earlier Friday.
The Newfoundlanders won that one, in large part because they scored a five-ender, but they still needed to come up with the winning point with lack-rock advantage in the final end for a 7-6 win.
The women’s Travelers championship is being held concurrently in Kingston. Newfoundland, represented by the St. John’s rink of Wendy Dunne, Jennifer Taylor, Andrea Heffernan and Susie Ennis, finished with a 1-5 record.