Kootenay Savings Super League mainstay, Myron Nichol, and his Castlegar rink won the Senior Men’s Kootenay curling playdown on the weekend and will advance to the B.C. Senior Curling championship in Alberni Valley Feb. 16-22.
The Nichol rink comprised of third Bill Van Yzerloo, second Gary Beaudry, and lead Barry Marsh, took the long road to the zone final, but managed to knock off the last year’s qualifier, the Ken McHargue rink, twice for the team to advance.
“It was a good test for us,” said Nichol. “We hadn’t really played together a whole lot, so it was nice to see us come together.”
Nichol outlasted Trail’s Rob Ferguson rink in the first match, but fell mightily to the McHargue foursome, 9-2, in their second draw. However, the Castlegar team regrouped and defeated Nelson’s Nando Salviulo rink 7-2 in the B qualifier, but after McHargue’s Cranbrook-Sparwood team went through the round-robin undefeated, the Nichol rink would have to beat the 2008 provincial champion twice in order to qualify.
Coincidentally, McHargue faced the same task at last year’s zones and beat the Deane Horning rink twice to advance to the provincials.
Nichol won handily in the first match winning the B final 7-2, and it all came down to one game against McHargue in the A final with the winner advancing to the B.C. championship.
In the tight final match, lots of blank ends resulted in McHargue tying it 3-3 heading into the 10th and final end, but Nichol played smart the rest of the way, drawing in for shot rock, and and after McHargue failed to dislodge the Nichol rock on his last attempt, the teams shook hands.
“It was three-all coming home, and we had hammer, and got at least one, I didn’t have to throw my last rock which was nice, but it was a real tight game.”
This is Nichol’s fourth shot at the provincial senior title with his last appearance in 2013 at the provincials in Trail where his Castlegar team finished in third place.
The two wins over McHargue was a confidence booster for the Nichol team after suffering a lopsided loss in the opening match, and bodes well for the upcoming B.C. Championship.
“Beating him twice on Sunday, that was pretty good, and I think we have something left in the tank for the provincials . . . I think we can win, I think we have a bit of work to do between now and then but I like our chances.”
The Nichol rink is the only Kootenay zone rink to advance and will face seven other rinks from across the province in Alberni along with eight women’s teams whose provincials go at the same time.