Cotter rink up to Tier 2 Challenge

Vernon’s Jim Cotter continued to roll on the Rock, reaching the semifinals of the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge Tier 2 event

Vernon’s Jim Cotter continued to roll on the Rock.

Cotter and his rink of third Ryan Kuhn, second Tyrel Griffith and lead Rick Sawatzky took on Kyle Smith of Perth, Scotland in a semifinal Saturday night at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge Tier 2 Division in Paradise, N.L.

Cotter and company were a perfect 5-0 heading into the final four matchup.

The reigning B.C. men’s champions were one of three rinks in the 15-team event to go 4-0 in preliminary round play.

Cotter improved to 3-0 Thursday, scoring four in the first end and cruising to a 6-3 win over Andrew Symonds of St. John’s.

The Vernon crew completed the round-robin Friday with a hard-fought 4-3 extra end win over Chad Stevens of Halifax.

Ontario’s Mark Kean (Stoney Creek) and Greg Balsdon (Toronto) were also 4-0.

In quarterfinal action Saturday morning, Cotter – with the hammer – scored a deuce in the final eighth end to knock off James Gratton of Oromocto, N.B. 5-4.

Gratton had taken a 4-3 lead with a pair in the seventh end.

Smith beat Shawn Adams of Halifax 9-2 in his quarterfinal matchup.

Kean defeated Stevens 9-7 to advance to the semifinal against Tom Brewster of Aberdeen, Scotland, who lost 7-2 to Cotter in the first draw of the event.

Brewster was leading his quarterfinal with Balsdon, 7-4, at The Morning Star’s press deadline.

The final goes today with the winner receiving an invitation to the following Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event, The Masters, Oct. 27 to Nov. 1 in Truro, N.S.