Morning Star Staff
A Shuswap duo stuck it to the rest of the field to win the 2015 B.C. Provincial Open Stick Curling Championship Sunday at the Vernon Curling Club.
The triple-knockout format, with some teams playing as many as eight games over the two days, came down to an exciting final game between the two remaining teams of Gord Duplisse and Frank Egli from the Salmon Arm Curling Club and Jim Burns and Cliff Bryanton from the host Vernon Club.
Trailing 7-1 after five, Burns and Bryanton threw their first two rocks through the house in the sixth end, at which point they shook hands with the Salmon Arm pair.
“The final game of the tournament was very exciting and was played before an enthusiastic crowd late Sunday afternoon,” said event chair Phil Culbert.
“Congratulations go out to the Duplisse/Egli rink, who have now qualified to represent B.C. in the National Open Stick Curling Championship being held in Winnipeg at the end of March.”
The Duplisse/Egli duo had earlier defeated another Salmon Arm team of Brian Maurer and Bert Larmand in one semifinal, while Burns and Bryanton knocked off a third Salmon Arm rink, Kevin and Jo-Anne Baldock, in the other semi.
The provincials served as a warm-up for the 2016 nationals in Vernon.
The provincial tournament was a tremendous success with 32 teams competing, including 12 Vernon teams, said Culbert, who will also head up the organizing committee for the Canadian bonspiel.
“The club and its members are very excited about hosting.”