Vernon rinks chase B.C. titles

North Okanagan entries suffer opening losses at Tim Hortons B.C. Junior Curling Championships in Chilliwack.

Both North Okanagan entries suffered opening losses at the Tim Hortons B.C. Junior Curling Championships in Chilliwack.

Despite a late push, Armstrong skip Brendan Cliff fell 8-7 to Tyler Tardi of the Langley Curling Club to start the eight-team junior men’s spiel Friday morning.

Cliff, backed by the Vernon trio of third Matthew Schiman, second Deven Schmidt and lead Matthew Young, was even with Tardi at 4-4 after six ends, but the Langley crew counted a huge four-ender to take a comfortable lead in seven.

Cliff blanked eight, scored one in nine and stole a deuce in 10 to make things interesting. He took on Nick Parker of New Westminster’s Royal City club later Friday, followed by Cameron de Jong of the Victoria Curling Centre in the night draw.

On Saturday, Cliff opened against Justin Umpherville of the Beaver Valley Curling Club before tangling with Kyle Habkirk of the Coquitlam Curling Centre.

The Vernon foursome finishes the round-robin with Sunday draws against Nolan Reid of the Victoria Curling Centre and Cody Tanaka of Tunnel Town Curling Club/Langley Curling Club.

On the junior women’s side, Vernon’s Amy Edwards fell 10-4 to defending Canadian champion Corryn Brown of Kamloops Thursday night.

Edwards, supported by third Sydney Hofer (Vernon), second Kylie Tokairin (Enderby) and lead Courtney Woo (Coldstream), kept it close early, taking a 4-4 draw into the break. Brown banked six points over the sixth, seventh and eighth ends to force handshakes.

The North Okanagan foursome faced Kalia Van Osch of Nanaimo/Delta and Briana Egan of Coquitlam in Friday action. Edwards met Dezaray Hawes of Royal City and Brandi Tinkler of the Juan De Fuca Curling Centre Saturday.

Edwards wraps up preliminary play today against Shawna Jensen of Victoria and Mariah Coulombe of Juan De Fuca.

Tiebreakers and semifinals for both men’s and women’s events are set for Monday, with the championship games following Tuesday.

The finals will be televised on Sportsnet on New Year’s Eve. Visit www.curlbc.ca/communications/tv-schedules/ for the TV schedule.

The junior men’s and women’s champions advance to the M&M Meat Shops nationals, Jan. 18-26, in Liverpool, N.S.