Curling: Local talent headed to national stage

Two curlers with links to the region’s last Brier hopeful will now take their talents to the national stage at the senior level.

Two curlers with links to the region’s last Brier hopeful will now take their talents to the national stage at the senior level.

Trail’s Don Freschi, playing lead, and Nelson’s Fred Thompson, playing second, were part of Bob Ursel’s winning rink at the B.C. Senior Men’s provincial championship on Sunday.

The Kelowna skip tapped into the local talent, who were part of Deane Horning’s Brier bound B.C. team in 2005, to win eight of nine games at the provincials in Richmond wrapping it up with a 7-2 win over Victoria’s Wes Craig on Sunday afternoon.

Ursel held a 4-2 lead after three ends then went on a stealing spree over the next three ends to race ahead and bring an early end to the title game.

The foursome will represent B.C. at the national championships in Digby, Nova Scotia, beginning March 28.

Meanwhile a strong showing by the Myron Nichol rink of Castlegar came up short of the final.

The Kootenay champs had an opportunity to move deeper in the playoff but fell 8-6 to Craig Lepine’s Langley rink in Saturday’s quarterfinal.

After finishing in four-way tie for second place with a 4-3 record, the team advanced to the quarterfinal while the Lepine had to make it through a tie-breaker on Friday.

The Nichol foursome, which included Richard Faunt of Trail playing lead, held a 6-4 lead after six ends but Lepine scored three in the seventh then added a steal of one in the eight end to eliminate Nichol.

Ursel also played a role in the B.C. Senior Women’s Championship.

He coached the Diane Foster rink of Kelowna to the title after a stellar effort in the playoff.

Foster, who was  4-3 in the round robin, made it through the quaterfinal and semifinal before knocking off the previously undefeated Marilou Ritcher rink from Penticton.

Ritcher was 7-0 in round robin play and no team came within a point of defeating her in Richmond.

But that changed in the final. Foster stole in the fourth and fifth ends to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead then swapped points with Ritcher the rest of the way to book their spot at the nationals.

The Kootenay champion Marnie Matthews rink from Trail finished with a 1-6 record.

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