Louis Gauthier probably hopes for 2 things come the day of a tournament. One, that his name gets pronounced correctly, and two, that he can walk away with the title. He made sure the latter occurred on Saturday on a snowy day in Owen Sound.
Weather held back a few competitors, and made a few more a little late to the party, but when it got going 44 competitors made up the tournament total. 16 teams competed in the Recreational Doubles category and 12 in the competitive singles.
While the singles field contained 7 of the top 12 CrokinoleCentre ranked players, only one of the top 6 (Fred Slater at 5th) was in attendance. That left the door open to any other top player looking to have a particularly strong day at the Scenic City Crokinole Tournament.
The preliminary round saw 10 games of action with Louis Gauthier leading the log jam with 55 points and 89 20’s. Right behind were Nathan Walsh with 54 points and a tournament high 105 20’s, then Fred Slater and Eric Miltenburg with 53 points, and Howard Martin and Matt Brown with 52 and 51 points respectively.
Into the afternoon the second round action heated up. Leading the way in Pool B action were Robert Bonnett and Clare Kuepfer, setting up the semifinals. Robert Bonnett prevailed over Gloria Walsh, and Dale Henry defeated Clare Kuepfer. In the finals, Bonnett was in top form to take the B title.
In Pool A, Nathan Walsh and Matt Brown took the top seeds, with Fred Slater and Louis Gauthier just behind. Fred Slater was able to defeat Matt Brown in one semifinal match 5-1, 6-2. In the other semifinal, Louis Gauthier got revenge over Walsh from their Belleville semifinal, winning 4-4, 5-3, 3-5, 4-0 (in extra rounds), in a match that saw both players amazingly score a perfect game twice.
That set up Gauthier’s first ever NCA final, against Fred Slater, looking for his second tournament title of the 2013-2014 season. In the first game both players held the hammer rounds to finish 4-4. Gauthier began to shoot very well in the second game and won 6-0. In the third game Slater was looking for a win to extend the match, but Gauthier failed to miss an open 20 and took the third game 5-3 to win the match, and become the King of Scenic City Crokinole.
The NCA Tour is now off for a couple of months, before returning in 2014 for the Hamilton tournament.