Wes Craig skipped his way to a second-straight provincial senior men’s curling championship last weekend dominating the field early before buckling down to make his way to the finals.
Craig’s team, included the skip, lead Craig Burton, second Keith Clarke, and third Norm Coté who represented clubs in Duncan, Nanaimo and Comox.
In their first draw, Craig faced Darren Schellekens and his squad from the home team at the Langley Curling Centre where the event was held. Craig’s team quickly dispatched their competitors, winning 10-1 after just four ends. From there it took six ends for Craig to beat Tom Buchy and his team from Kimberly, Kelowna and Castlegar by a 7-2 score.
After that things got tight for a while.
Myron Nichol’s rink from Castlegar, Fruitvale, Grand Forks, and Nelson put up a fight but ultimately Craig prevailed by a 4-3 score, and qualified for the playoffs.
It was in the first round of the playoffs that Craig’s rink faltered just a little, falling 8-6 to Royal City Curling Club’s rink led by Dean Koyanagi.
Craig bounced back with a 6-2 victory over Mark Longworth of the Vernon Curling Club in the quarterfinals and then Steve Wright’s rink from Kelowna and Comox 6-4 in the semi-finals to secure a spot in the final draw.
The team they faced in the final? The only team they’d lost to all tournament: the Koyanagi rink.
It was back and forth for the first five ends until Craig scored four in the seventh end to take a 8-6 lead into the last end. Koyanagi responded with two in the eighth to push it to an extra end but Craig replied with two in the ninth end to take the 10-8 victory and defend his title.
Craig had no time to rest, however, as the BC Men’s Curling Club Championships began Tuesday, March 28 in Abbotsford. Craig skips a Kerry Park based team which includes his son Miles Craig playing third, Con Haug as second, and lead Adam Bloch-Hansen.