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Saltcoats native plays in Brier

By Jeff Schneberk Staff Writer

Native of Saltcoats Steve Laycock and his teammates competed in the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier in London, ON.

They got off to a strong start in action and then ran into some strong competition the rest of the way.

They finished the Brier with a record of 4-7, tied with New Brunswick, and BC.

Saskatchewan started off strong with two back-to-back wins. They then lost three straight including a 7-6 loss to Brad Gushue of Newfoundland/Labrador last Monday morning.

It was their first Brier competition and they remain pleased about the future of curling.

Saskatchewan fell to 2-2 and their bad luck continued into their next game. They jumped out to a 4-1 lead over Nova Scotia's Shawn Adams, but Adams rebounded to pull out a 7-6 win with a steal in the 10th end. A measurement had been needed to determine that Adams had edged Saskatchewan's last rock.

"A whole lot didn't go well (Monday)," said Laycock after his rink dropped to 2-3 and into a six-way tie for fifth place

He lost 7-6 to Jeff Stoughton (Manitoba) in an extra end last Wednesday, it was mathematically impossible to win at that point.

Laycock was still trying to make a name for himself at the Tim Hortons Brier.

He had a great chance to accomplish that when he squared off against Ontario's Glenn Howard. Laycock came up on the short end of a 10-3 score and dropped into a tie with three others for third place behind Stoughton and Alberta's Kevin Martin.

Laycock got off to a good start against Quebec's Francois Gagne, 8-7.

He said the scoreboard didn't always show that he was playing better, but he knew he was.

Laycock is the skip of Saskatchewan's team while playing third. Pat Simmons throws fourth stones. The team went under Simmons' name while winning the SaskTel Tankard men's curling championship. There aren't any rules against doing that in Saskatchewan. The Canadian Curling Association however has a policy that teams are named after the player calling the game. That's why the name was changed from Simmons to Laycock for the Brier.

More than 110,000 curling fans circulated through the John Labatt Centre and the nearby "Patch" party palace over nine days. Laycock could not be reached in time for comment.