Cal McKerracher of Trail is heading to his fifth provincial championship after his rink edged out another Trail foursome to take the zone playdowns at the B.C. Interior Masters curling tournament in Castlegar on the weekend.
The McKerracher rink, with third Dan Horan, second Larry Martin and lead Wayne Weaver, heads to Kimberley to vie for the Walter Hobbs and Jack McAllister trophies at the provincial championship next month.
Two Trail teams and two Castlegar foursomes competed in a round-robin but it was McKerracher taking on familiar foe, Trail’s Primo Secco rink and last year’s zone winner, in the 60+ men’s final on Sunday.
Secco had beaten McKerracher handily in the early round of play, but McKerracher went on to win the round robin by virtue of his two wins against the Peter Lui and Fred Horcoff rinks.
In Sunday’s final, the two teams battled back and forth throughout the match and were tied in the seventh end, when McKerracher struck for two.
But Secco would reply in the eighth end by scoring two of his own and forcing an extra end.
In the decisive extra frame, Secco, looking to steal, set up a wall of perfect guards, sitting one and leaving only a fraction of the button for McKerracher to draw to.
“It was the only shot I had; I just threw it and didn’t say a thing,” said McKerracher. “I just let the sweepers take it.”
McKerracher’s final rock slid agonizingly close by the Secco guards and settled on the button, clinching it for the five-time zone champion and his rink.
In addition to his success at the regional and provincial level, McKerracher also curled in the Canadian championship in 2003 where he finished fourth.
The Master’s 60+ Hobbs/McAllister and the Grand Master’s 70+ Combined Provincial Championship will curl at the Kimberley Curling Club Mar. 6-9.