The brilliant sunrise in Edmonton last Sunday morning was a fitting backdrop to the golden performance from Ontario's masters team. The 7 member squad of 4 men and 3 women lived up to its number one seeding, roaring through the preliminary rounds of the Canadian Team Championships in convincing fashion before beating Alberta 4-3 in a thrilling gold medal finale.
The talented Team Ontario, coached by the injured Dave Morrish, consisted of captains Bruce Marrison and Elka Markus, along with Scott Kemp-Gee, Trent Haase, Wayne Pye, Julie Hisey and Sue Desa. The squad climbed back to the top of the podium after last year's loss to Quebec in the final.
Ontario needed a solid strategy heading into Sunday's final against the second seeded team from Alberta, which had lost only one of it's 28 matches. Ontario's game plan was simple according to Marrison, "we've got to go 3 and 3, then leave the rest to Kemper (Kemp-Gee)".
They executed that to a tee.
Marrison narrowly missed a victory that would have made Kemp-Gee's match a formality, losing 11-9 in game 5 of a nail-biting tilt against Peter Goodings.
Pye and Markus, who strung together solid matches in the preliminary rounds, lost in tough outings in the final. But victories from Hisey, Haase and Desa, who battled hard in a 3-2 victory over Julia Smith, tied the matches at 3-3 and set the stage for the deciding battle between Kemp-Gee and Alberta's Jeff Williams, a squash pro from the host Edmonton Squash Club.
The pressure was squarely on Kemp-Gee and he did not disappoint, summoning his trademark tenacity and spider-monkey style acrobatics to carve out a 3-1 victory over Williams and a gold medal for Ontario.
Congratulations to the Team Ontario Masters for completing their victorious finish, bringing home the gold next to the Men's Team's silver and Women's Team's bronze.