A gorgeous spring day started the Stones 2014 West Chester Invitational tournament with round robin play between 11 teams to establish a seeded, 8-team single-elimination tournament. Team Black Irish, Sean Smiley and Nate Carter, ran the table during this portion of the day. Most shocking was the 0-2 start by Ryan Kinka and Tommy Pendergast, putting themselves on the brink of missing the elimination round. They scrapped out a win in their final game, however, and ended up with a 7 seed.
In the elimination round, the top two seeds fell in round one. First, Ryan Kinka and Tommy Pendergast knocked of the 2 seed, Chris Kinka, and John Janick, after trailing by 6 points. Smiley and Carter then got upset by the 8 seed, Mike and Thomas Kinka.
The semifinals featured Mike and Thomas Kinka vs. Ben Hoffman and rookie Mike Gale, on one side of the bracket, and Ryan Kinka and Tommy Prendergast vs. Scott Kinka and J.Y. Halpin on the other. Kinka and Pendergast took care of business and found their groove while Hoffman and Gale prevailed. Their team nickname, Pro Tour, seemed to have some truth to it.
In an epic final between a veteran powerhouse pumping on all cylinders and a team with a “rookie”, the assumption was that a lopsided affair was in order. Instead, Pro Tour came to play and found themselves on the fifth landing, down two, but holding the closest stone sitting about 4 inches away and tucked behind a log. But Ryan Kinka threw a stone from 15 feet away that checked up just left of the log then took a hard right loop, coming to rest an inch away from the target. The 2014 West Chester Invitational was in the books with Kinka and Pendergast picking up where they left off in 2013, winning their second straight event.
Next up in Founder’s League tournament play is the Memorial Day Invitational with league play at Southern Tier Brewery also set to start up next month.