Cold and rainy weekends in the local church of small Ontario towns were where crokinole thrived. It was in the United Church in Brucefield where Raymond and Jason Beierling won the 2013 Ontario Doubles Crokinole Championship.
52 competitors packed the small community centre, with 14 teams in the competitive division and 12 in the recreational. It was a star-studded field of competitive action with 16 of the 28 competitive players having previous top 4 World Championship finishes, and 8 World Doubles Champions.
The top dogs in the event were:
- Fred Slater and Eric Miltenburg (making up one half of the 3-time defending Ontario champions)
- Ron and Ray Haymes (2006 World Doubles champs)
- Jon Conrad and Tony Snyder (2012 World champs)
- Ray and Jason Beierling (6-time World champs)
- Rex and Tom Johnston (2011 3rd place World Doubles teams)
- Dave and Matt Brown (2011 World Doubles runner-up)
- Bill Freeman and Paul Brubacher (one-half of the 2001 World champs)
The preliminary round consisted of a full round-robin with each team playing 6 rounds against one another, with the top 4 proceeding to the page playoffs.
Leading the way with 105 points was Ray and Ron Haymes, followed by Ray and Jason Beierling with 100, and Jon Conrad and Tony Snyder with 96. Tied for the 4th and final spot were Tom and Rex Johnston and Fred Slater and Eric Miltenburg with 91, with the Johnston's making the cut based on 207 20's. Just missing out were Ab Leitch and Wayne Gingerich with 86 points, and John Harvey and Ron Reesor with 85 points.
That set up a newly designed page playoff system, used primarily in curling. As a result the top 2 seeds, Ron and Ray Haymes and Jason and Ray Beierling, would compete for an entry into the finals, with the loser going to the semifinals. The other match would be the 3 vs 4 page playoff with the winner moving to the semifinals and the loser being eliminated. That 3 vs 4 match between Conrad/Snyder and Johnston/Johnston went the distance in a first to 10 point match with a point cap of 18, where Conrad/Snyder came out on top 18-16.
In the 1 vs 2 match, Beierling/Beierling prevailed 11-3 over Haymes/Haymes to move to the final. That left a semifinal match between Haymes/Haymes and Conrad/Snyder for the last spot in the finals. Haymes/Haymes would reverse their fortunes from their previous match to win 11-3, and leave Conrad/Snyder to a 3rd place.
So the 2013 Ontario Doubles Champions would be decided with a rematch between Haymes/Haymes and Beierling/Beierling. The Beierlings would get an early edge, stealing one point against the hammer with a tie in the first round. The match was extremely tight, tied at 5-5, until the Beierlings took over to win the match 11-5 and take their first ever Ontario Doubles Crokinole title.
The next stop on the 2013-2014 NCA Tour will be in Owen Sound for the Scenic City Crokinole Tournament on November 23, 2013.