Trail rink qualifies for curling provincials

A Trail Senior Women’s curling team advanced to the curling provincials

A Trail Senior Women’s curling team advanced to the provincials after nailing down a spot in the qualification round at the Zone playdowns in Nelson last weekend.

Trail’s Bedard rink comprised of skip Rhonda Lee Bedard of Grand Forks, third Rose Beauchamp of Trail, second Laurel Babcock, Trail, and first Anne Marie Byers of Grand Forks swept their way into the B.C.s by beating the Kryczka rink from Sparwood 9-3 in the B final on Sunday.

While Bedard calls the game, Beauchamp, a six-time veteran of the provincial championship, throws skip stones.

“I am very happy with our team,” said Beauchamp. “We just got together this year . . . and that was our goal to put a senior ladies team together and go and compete for the playdowns.”

The team plays in the competitive Kootenay Savings Super League in Trail, in addition to competing in local bonspiels.

The Trail rink started off the weekend with a convincing 9-1 win over Kryczka in the opening draw.

They then faced former Trail resident Marilyn Berry’s rink from Invermere in the A event qualifier. Berry had taken down Castlegar’s Nichol rink with a close 10-8 win to advance.

In the A final, Berry jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two ends, but Bedard scored a big four-ender in the third to take the lead. The Invermere ladies however would not be outdone as Berry tied it in the fourth, then stole three in the fifth to go up 7-4.

Trail fought back scoring one, then stealing singles in the seventh and eighth to tie it. But Berry counted two in the ninth and Bedard could only reply with a single in the 10th and final end, as Berry eked out a 9-8 win.

The Trail team then played in the B qualifier and after jumping out into an early lead, never looked back as they picked up three in the first end, four in the third and stole two in the fourth to take an insurmountable 9-2 lead.

On the Senior Mens side, Trail’s Rob Ferguson rink, last year’s bronze medal winner at the B.C.’s, could not duplicate the success of last season.

The Ferguson rink made up of skip Rob Ferguson, Brian LeMoel, Russ Beauchamp and Jack Beard lost an opening nail biter to the Myron Nichol rink from Castlegar.

It was a story of big ends as Nichol jumped out to a 5-0 lead by counting  four points in the third before Ferguson replied with a four ender of his own in the fourth. After ceding two more, The Trail rink would tie it in the sixth 7-7 and go up by two in the seventh end, but Nichol counted two in the ninth to tie it.

In the final end, Nichol placed a perfect guard to make Ferguson’s final throw a difficult one. Ferguson tried a raise, angle takeout but his red rock over-curled a few millimeters to give Nichol the single point and the victory.

Ferguson beat Nelson’s Bedard rink 9-0 to advance to the semifinal of the B qualifier but lost again to Nichol in eight ends, 12-5.

Ken McHargue’s rink from Sparwood won the A event final, with an 8-6 win over hometown rival Ralph Will rink who will also advance after defeating Nichol in the B final 8-6.

The winning rinks travel to the Tim Horton’s B.C. Senior Curling Championship in Kelowna next month where they’ll face teams from across the province.

The winners will advance to the Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s Championship in Abbotsford in March.