There is one day and a couple of draws of round-robin play remaining at the Tankard provincial men’s curling championship in St. John's, but we already know two teams that will be part of the weekend playoffs.
The advancing rinks are those skipped by Greg Smith, who leads the nine-team field with a 6-0 record, and Adam Boland, who sits in second at 5-1.
The top three teams after the end of the round robin (or any necessary tiebreakers) will advance to the playoffs, with the first-place team going straight to Sunday’s final. The second- and third-place finishers meet in a Saturday semifinal.
That first-place bye could very well be decided this afternoon (2:30 p.m.) when Boland and Smith go to head-to-head.
As for the third playoff berth, Andrew Symonds (4-2) can claim it in that same afternoon draw with a win over Frank O’Driscoll (4-3).
Symonds, who finishes off round-robin play against Dave Thomas (0-6) of Port aux Basques and O’Driscoll, who has a bye in the final draw, have the only other teams with any chance of making it to the playoffs.
In play Thursday night at the Re/Max Centre, Smith trailed 9-5 after six ends, but clawed back for an 11-10 win over Paul Harvey. That also prevented Harvey (3-4) from handing first losses to teams in back-to-games — he had knocked Boland from the undefeated ranks with an 8-7 decision earlier in the day.
Boland bounced back for a 7-5 victory over Symonds Thursday night. In other results from that draw, O’Driscoll downed Trent Skanes (2-4) 10-7 and Justin Lockyer (2-4) defeated Thomas 12-8.
The latter game saw two ends where scores of five were registered — one by each team. There was another five-point end Thursday night, by Harvey in his loss to Smith.
Colin Thomas (2-4) had a bye Thursday night.