Wes Craig had his eye on Tom Buchy and his mixed curling rink out of Kimberley, beating them twice on the way to the B.C. mixed provincial championship.
With three wins and two losses, the Buchy team, consisting of Tom and Lori Buchy, and Dave and Robyn Toffolo, snuck into the playoffs, but had to settle for bronze after Craig won the rematch 9-1.
Craig, with his team out of the host curling club in Duncan on Vancouver Island, will represent B.C. at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship in North Bay Granite Club in Ontario next fall.
The Buchy team had a strong start to their run at the provincial title on Thursday, winning both their opening draws. The Kimberley crew got it done with a crucial steal in the eighth end to win 6-5 over a team skipped by Rob Dennis out of Richmond.
The Buchy rink went up against Ryan LeDrew and his rink out of Salmon Arm, scoring a deuce in the ninth end to take one-point lead and capping it off with a steal for two in the final end to win 9-6.
Heading into Friday, the Kimberley team was handed their first loss in a close 7-6 decision to a team skipped by Steve Kopf, who recently went to the Tim Horton’s Brier in 2013 with the B.C. men’s team.
Tied up at 6-6 going into the 10th end, Kopf, with the hammer, scored a single point to edge out the win.
That loss dropped the Buchy team down to the ‘B’ category, where the went up against the Craig team and fell 8-2 on Saturday. Craig stole a single in the seventh and a deuce in the eighth on the road to a big win for his curling crew.
The Kimberley team was then relegated to the ‘C’ category, where they secured one of the playoff spots in a rematch with Dennis, winning 8-3, stealing six points in the last three ends to come up with the victory.
With a berth into the playoffs, the Buchy team had another rematch with the LeDrew team in the quarterfinal, winning by another large margin at 8-3, scoring a devastating four points in the eighth end that effectively ended the game.
That set up another collision with the Craig team in the semifinal, which stole singles in the second and third ends to lead 3-1 over Team Buchy heading into the fifth. However, the Craig team scored another single with the hammer, and stole two in the sixth and three in the seventh to pull out the 9-1 win.
The Craig rink went on to beat the Kopf team 10-6 in the championship draw.