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Richard takes British Columbia

Skip Jeff Richard and his Kelowna Curling Club team of third Tom Shypitka, second Tyler Orme and lead Chris Anderson defeated defending champion Sean Geall of New Westminster, 9-8 in an extra end on Sunday to win the final of the Canadian Direct Insurance British Columbia men’s championship.

Richard, a former provincial junior champion, had taken two in the 10th end to tie the game, before stealing the winning point in the extra end.

Richard’s team had finished the 10-team round robin in third place with a 6-3 mark, behind unbeaten Bob Ursel at 9-0 and Geall at 8-1.

Richard first eliminated Bert Gretzinger, 5-3 in the Page 3-4 game, then upset Ursel, 8-6 in the semi-final, stealing two in an extra end for the verdict.   Ursel had lost to Geall, 8-7 in the Page 1-2 game to drop to the semi, while Geall had advanced to the final with the victory.

It will be the Brier debut for Richard (who lost the 1999 Canadian Junior men’s final to Ontario’s John Morris in Kelowna), Orme and Anderson.   Shypitka played second for British Columbia’s Gerry Kent at the 1991 Labatt Brier in Hamilton.

British Columbia has four Brier wins since the Canadian championship began in 1927 in Toronto…the last by skip Greg McAulay in 2000.