Jim Cotter successfully defended his Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. Men’s Curling Championship title on Sunday, February 12, with a 7-5 victory over Brent Pierce and his Royal City club mates.
Trailing 5-4 after eight ends, Cotter and his Kelowna Curling Club team of Kevin Folk, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky, scored a deuce in the ninth and stole a single for good measure in the last end of play in the championship finale. The Saskatoon Brier will be the third for Cotter, Folk and Sawatsky, while Griffith will be making the trip for the first time.
The Pierce rink of Jeff Richard, Kevin Recksiedler and Grant Dezura was the first to qualify for the playoffs at the provincial championship, which was held at the Parksville Curling Club from February 6-12. Cotter survived “B” side action, while Chris Baier of the Royal City Curling Club and Delta’s Sean Geall claimed the third and fourth playoff spots from the sixteen-team field.
Pierce earned the bye to the final game after rolling over Cotter by a score of 9-2 in the Page playoff 1 vs. 2 game on Saturday morning. At the same time Baier and his mates Mike Johnson, Jay Wakefield and John Cullen bested Geall 9-8 by scoring one in an extra end in the Page 3 vs. 4 game.
With that loss, Geall, the 2009 B.C. champ, and his team of Jason Montgomery, Bill Fisher and Mark Olson were done for the week.
The Cotter-Baier semi-final game on Saturday night was another extra end thriller. Tied at 6 apiece after regulation, Cotter had the advantage of last rock in the eleventh, and made no mistake in scoring the winning point against the New Westminster foursome.
Last year with Ken Maskiewich at vice and Folk and Sawatsky on the front end, the Cotter team finished with a record of 4-7 at the national men’s shootout in London. The boys from the Pacific Province will be looking to better that mark at the 2012 Tim Hortons Brier, to be held at Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre from March 3-11.