Local teams gave it a good run, but in the end it was the North Bay tandem of Mackenzie Daley and Bobby Ray who would lay claim to the 2022 NOCA (Northern Ontario Curling Association) Mixed Doubles Provincial Championship last weekend in New Liskeard.
In order to do so, the North Bay Granite Club representatives would need to get the better of the Curl Sudbury pairing of Mya Smith and Olivier Bonin-Ducharme (8-4), the latter having eliminated fellow Sudburians Mia and Lee Toner 9-5 in semi-final action.
Interestingly enough, the chanmpionship final was a rematch of the "A" draw qualifying game from Saturday morning, when Daley/Ray knocked off Smith/Bonin-Ducharme 9-4, the latter moving directly to the "B" draw qualifier.
There, the two Laurentian students rebounded nicely, scoring in each of the first five ends en route to a 6-1 triumph over Team Toner and a berth in the semis. Dropped down to the "C" bracket, the father/daughter combo had to survive an 8-7 win over Joanne Comé-Forget and Jeff Brown, also from North Bay, advancing to face the eventual silver medal winners.
Smith and Bonin-Ducharme built up a 4-0 lead after three ends and put the penultimate encounter to rest with five in the fifth opposite the Toners. The championship final was tied at 4-4 after five ends, the teams trading three-pointers in three and four, before Daley and Ray counted two with the hammer (in six) and added a steal of two the very nice end to secure Northern Ontario bragging rights.
Unfortunately, for 2022, this is where the journey ends, the Canadian Championships that were slatted for mid-March in Sudbury a victim of the pandemic.