It was a tough weekend for Trail curlers at both the Senior Men’s zone playdowns in Nelson and the Interior Masters playdowns in Trail over the weekend.
Cranbrook’s Tom Shypitka rink, comprised of lead Bill King from Fruitvale, second Don Freschi of Trail, and third Fred Thomson of Nelson, looked unbeatable going undefeated through the A-Event at the Senior Mens Kootenay Zone playdowns, until the final when Elkford’s Ken McHargue rink would do the improbable and take the title with two straight wins.
Following a bye on Friday, Shypitka’s foursome cruised through its first three matches defeating Nelson’s Nando Salviulo rink 11-3 on Saturday, followed by an 8-7 win over McHargue, and a 9-0 drubbbing of Castlegar’s Myron Nichol rink to quash his team’s hopes of a return to the B.C.s.
McHargue meanwhile was growing stronger. Following his close loss to Shypitka, McHargue dealt Salviulo a 9-1 loss, then faced Shypitka in the B final.
To return to the B.C. Senior men’s curling championship Shypitka needed just one win, while McHargue needed to beat the Cranbrook skip twice.
McHargue would start strong, scoring three in the opening end on his way to a 9-6 victory in the B final. Then in the decisive A-final match, the game was tied 5-5 heading into the 10th end. McHargue was counting two, but Shypitka could steal if he executed the come-around and buried his final stone. Alas, the throw was light, and McHargue took the game 7-5 to advance to the provincial championship on Vancouver Island next month.
Trail’s Rob Ferguson rink, with third Ken Fines, second Russ Beauchamp, and lead Terry Bublitz, started well with a 10-4 victory over the Norm Fahselt rink from Creston, but would fall in Draw 2 to McHargue 8-3, before being squeezed out of the playdowns by Nichol in a close 8-7 match.
McHargue, with third Gerald Kent, second Grant Klapp, and lead Bruce Young, will travel to the B.C. Senior Championships Feb. 17-23 in Comox Valley.
Trail went into the Interior Master’s 60-plus Zone playdown on Saturday with high hopes of advancing to the provincial championship, but it was not to be as the Trail rink would be Bested in the end.
Trail’s Primo Secco rink with Pat Fennell as third, Brent Rakusson second, and lead Serge Pasquali got off to a great start Saturday morning handily beating Castlegar’s Bill Carlson foursome 9-4.
In the second match Grand Forks Vern Best rink took on Castlegar and won a close 7-5 decision setting up the final match versus Secco, with the winner advancing to the Master’s provincial tournament in Salmon Arm Feb. 25-28.
Best jumped out to a quick 3-0 start, and after that Secco forced the play, but Best patiently executed at every turn, winding up with a 7-2 victory.