Craig Savill, Brent Laing, Wayne Middaugh and Glenn Howard celebrate after capturing the 2012 National title. (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Glenn Howard defeats Kevin Martin to win 2012 National

January 29, 2012, 9:00 PM

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Glenn Howard held off Kevin Martin 6-5 in a battle of the sport’s titans to win the National and earn his second Grand Slam of Curling title of the season.

The Coldwater, Ont., team of Howard, third Wayne Middaugh, second Brent Laing and lead Craig Savill ran the table posting an overall 8-0 record to cash in $25,000 and 40.000 World Curling Tour Order of Merit (OOM) points.

Howard, who also won the World Cup in November, opened the game scoring three points in the first end and never relinquished the lead.

The teams alternated singles through the second and third ends as Howard maintained the three-point advantage. Martin closed the gap to one with a deuce in the fourth.

The teams traded points again in the fifth and sixth ends and Howard settled for one in the seventh to go up 6-4. Martin held the hammer coming home but his attempt to score the tying two came up short as Howard prevailed.

The Edmonton-based team of Martin, third John Morris, second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert earned $16,000 and 27.000 OOM points.

Both teams were undefeated heading into the final with identical 5-0 round-robin records. Howard downed Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton 8-3 in the quarterfinals and Jim Cotter of Vernon, B.C., 8-3 during the semifinals while Martin beat Sweden’s Niklas Edin 4-1 and Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., 4-3 to advance.