By Jonathan Hayward – The Canadian Press

They may have had a perfect run going into the final, but Cheryl Bernard’s rink was unable to keep it going against Japan’s Moe Meguro at the Twin Anchors Invitational curling tournament in Vernon, B.C.

Bernard’s Calgary team of Carolyn Darbyshire, Susan O’Connor and Cori Bartel took seven straight matches before falling to Meguro on Sunday.

Bernard has won the Twin Anchors tournament twice in the past, taking home the winner’s purse in 2004 and 2005. Last year’s winner, Shannon Kleibrink of Calgary, Alta, was eliminated in a tiebreaker on Friday evening.

On the men’s side, it took eight ends, but Kevin Koe of Edmonton, Alta., denied Kelowna’s Bob Ursel of his third straight title.

Koe’s rink of Blake McDonald, Carter Rycroft, and Nolan Thiessen nabbed two points in an extra end to take the final – and the $7,500 winners’ purse – with a score of 7-5.

Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., was eliminated in the quarterfinals after emerging from the preliminary round as the tournament top seed.

Canada’s curling teams are preparing for the 2009 Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifying tournament to be held in Edmonton, Alta. this December.

Eight teams of each gender will face off in that tournament. The winning men’s and women’s teams will go on to represent Canada at the Olympics in Vancouver.

Only four teams of each gender – including Howard, Koe, Kleibrink and Bernard – have qualified for the tournament so far. The remaining eight teams (four women’s, four men’s) will be determined at a pre-trials tournament.

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