TRURO – Peter Burgess’ run at the Molson Coors Tankard provincial men’s curling championship is over.
Burgess, and his Truro rink of mate Craig Burgess, second Jared Bent and lead Todd Burgess, was eliminated Saturday afternoon with an 8-5 loss to Mayflower’s Mark Dacey in their quarter-final at Truro Curling Club.
“It was just a missed opportunity, that’s all,” the 40-year-old skip said. “That wasn’t the result we were looking for.”
Dacey moves on to a 7 p.m. semifinal match against defending Tankard champion Jamie Murphy, of Lakeshore. Murphy dropped an 8-6 decision to Lakeshore’s Paul Flemming in their afternoon semifinal draw.
Flemming meets the winner of tonight’s game in Sunday’s 2 p.m. final with a berth at the Tim Hortons Brier national championship on the line.
Burgess’ loss to Dacey ends what had become an almost miraculous run for the Truro rink. With a 1-3 record and their playoff hopes all but dashed, the team reeled off three consecutive victories over Dacey, CFB Halifax’s Alan O’Leary and Shea Steele of Mayflower to finish the round robin 4-3 and earn itself the quarter-final berth.
“There was no reason we couldn’t (win it all),” Burgess said. “We were all feeling good physically.”
Burgess and Dacey were neck-and-neck throughout their draw until the eighth end, when things started to unravel for the hometown side. With his last shot in the eighth end, Burgess missed a double takeout, allowing Dacey to score two and take a 6-5 lead.
“It would have forced them to one and we would have been tied with hammer playing nine which would have been a strength position,” Burgess said. “Then we got into a bit of trouble in the ninth end.”
With the game winding down, Burgess tried a risky double takeout in the ninth which would have knotted the contest for the final end. But the shot missed and Dacey scored two more points then ran Burgess out of rocks in the 10th end to seal the win.
“I don’t know if it was the right decision or not but I tried it and missed it so…,,” Burgess said. “I could have drawn but we were still in a tough position.”
In spite of the setback, the Burgess team members received a warm reception as they came off the ice and into the gallery from the partisan audience which had supported the home team all week.
Although it was tough to see after the setback, Burgess was happy the team achieved its initial goal of qualifying for the playoff round.
“This is where I expected to be,” Burgess said. “I would have been quite upset if we didn’t make playoffs to be perfectly honest.”