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Andrew Symonds and defending champion Greg Smith are atop the leaderboard as the provincial men’s Tankard curling championship kicks into high gear at the Bally Haly Country Club in St. John’s.
Symonds’s team from the Remax Centre (St. John’s Curling Club) improved to 3-0 Thursday afternoon with an 8-2 thumping of Trent Skanes, while Smith scored in the 10th end to beat Ken Peddigrew 9-8 Thursday night and move to 4-1.
This sets up a showdown between the two teams 2:30 p.m. Friday.
The Symonds foursome of Chris Ford, Adam Boland and Keith Jewer won the Centennial Curling Spiel, formerly known as the Travelspiel, earlier this season at the Remax Centre.
Smith won last year’s Tankard and curled in the Tim Hortons Brier in Regina, Sask. Thursday night, his team of Nick Bissonnette, John Sheppard and Ian Withycombe scored four in the eighth end against Peddigrew to grab an 8-6 lead. Peddigrew tied things up with a deuce in the ninth and Smith, with last rock, won it in 10.
In other games Thursday night, Matthew Smith scored four in 10 to tie the game and then stole three in the extra end to beat Dave Thomas 11-8, Rick Rowsell doubled Colin Thomas 8-4 and Rod Feltham slipped past Bernard Bird 9-8.
In other afternoon games Tuesday, Feltham beat Nick Lane 7-6 with two in the 10th end and Dave Thomas edged Justin Lockyer 7-6.
The winner of the Tankard will represent the province in the Tim Hortons Brier March 2-10 in Brandon, Man.
Andrew Symonds (Remax Centre) — 3-0
Greg Smith (Bally Haly/Remax Centre) — 4-1
Rick Rowsell (Remax Centre) — 3-1
Matthew Smith (Remax Centre) — 3-2
Trent Skanes (Remax Centre) — 2-1
Ken Peddigrew (Remax Centre) — 2-2
Rod Feltham (Gander) — 2-2
Bernard Bird, Happy Valley-Goose Bay — 2-3
Colin Thomas, (Remax Centre) — 1-2
Dave Thomas (Port aux Basques) — 1-3
Justin Lockyer (Remax Centre) — 0-3
Nick Lane (Remax Centre) — 0-3