by Art McKay
The 54 th annual Left Right Challenge Match was held March 8 at the Almonte Curling Club. This famous competition had started in 1965 at the old curling club on Brae Street. Left-hander Lloyd Simpson and Right-hander Harry Walker organized the first of the annual events, which was later kept alive and prospered under the direction of J.C. Smithson for many years.
Initially in 1965 it was a team of 4 Lefties versus a team of 4 Righties, but in 1967 it was expanded to 2 teams from each side, which is still the current format.
After the old curling club burned down in 1970, J.C. Smithson was able to arrange for curling ice in either Carleton Place, Pakenham or Arnprior for the next 19 years in order to continue this annual tradition. JC kept detailed notes of each year’s match and frequently prepared newspaper articles for the local Almonte Gazette.
Since JC’s passing, local Lefty Art McKay has continued the practice of documenting each match, and has published a detailed history of Almonte’s Famous Left Right Curling Challenge.
On sheet 2, the Left’s jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after 2 ends, but the Rights came back to tie it up at 4 after 4 ends, before going on to a 8-5 victory.
On sheet 3, the Lefts went up 5-3 after 4 ends. In the second half of the match, the Rights stormed back to go ahead 8-6 after 7 ends. The Lefts played a good last end to score 3 to win the sheet 3 match 9-8. The Rights won the combined double match by a 16 – 14 score.
Rights receive the Simpson Seagrams’s Trophy
Doug Caldwell, Rod Thompson, Craig Campbell, Sean Leonard, Jamie Dalgity,
Dan Logan, Jim Rath and Gerry Coleman
Lefts receive the Horse Trophies
Art McKay, Mike Maydan, Marc Cousineau, Jack Logan, Rachel Stoddart, Paul Watters & David James. (Trevor Thompson absent)