Skip Sean Geall (from right) with third Jeff Richard, second Andrew Nerpin, lead Dave Harper and fifth-man Brad Wood, who are off to the Brier next month in Regina. -Image: Curl BC

Kelowna Curling Club foursome books ticket to Brier

Sean Geall and Kelowna teammates beat defending champ Jim Cotter in provincial final in Parksville

As skips of different teams, Sean Geall and Jeff Richard won their first B.C. men’s curling titles a year apart, in 2009 and 2010.

In 2018, Geall and Richard combined forces to earn their second trip to the Brier.

With Geall calling the shots and Richard playing third, the Kelowna Curling Club foursome knocked off defending champ Jim Cotter and his Vernon-Kelowna rink 9-7 in an extra end in the final of the B.C. men’s curling championship Sunday night in Parksville.

Geall made a spectacular in-off shot with his last rock of the game to score a deuce in the 11th end to claim the provincial title.

“In some ways it’s a bit of a relief to get back to doing this. It feels really good,” said Geall, 43, who grew up in West Kelowna but now lives in Abbotsford. “It’s been awhile and you start to wonder if that time is going to happen again.

“Now I have a small family and can’t commit the time I used to commit, so yeah, this is a big one.”

Geall teamed up with Richard and lead Dave Harper last season, then added second Andrew Nerpin to the mix this season.

Richard is grateful to be getting a second chance to play in the Brier.

“You just never know if or when it’ll happen again,” said Richard, 38. “Sean and I were both hungry to get back there. We put a lot of work and effort into this season and it paid off for us.

“Sean’s a great skip and a great guy, and we’ve become really good friends,” added Richard. “It’s going to be nice to go to a Brier and compete with this group of guys.”

Harper attended his first Brier last year as the fifth-man on the John Morris-Jim Cotter rink. The 2018 Canadian men’s curling championship will be his first ever as a player.

“I’ve been playing a long time, hoping this would happen, so to get that little purple heart feels great,” said Harper, 40, who moved to Kelowna from Edmonton five years ago. “It’s a dream come true. You think there’s plenty of time but then the years start going by and you realize it’s not easy. It’s great to finally get this.”

Nerpin, who had never before been close to winning a provincial title, said all the pieces fell into place at the right time for the Kelowna-based foursome—particularly against the four-time defending champs.

“Sean made the shots when he had to and it worked out well for us,” said Nerpin, who is originally from Ontario. “We definitely had to be lights-out to beat those guys. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Like Harper, Nerpin is excited about experiencing the atmosphere of a Brier for the first time.

“I think the crowds will be amazing, it’s the biggest event you can play in,” Nerpin said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I started curling. It’s going to be amazing to be a part of it.”

The final game was the only loss of the week for Cotter, third Catlin Schneider and his Kelowna front-end of second Tyrel Griffith and lead Rick Sawatsky.

“I’m proud of the guys,” said Cotter. “We hung in there. Unfortunately, we had some picks in there and that didn’t help, but that’s the way curling goes. It didn’t come down to that. They made a great shot to win. We were getting better each game, but we were a little off that game.”

Geall and his Kelowna rink will represent B.C. at the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier, March 3 to 11 in Regina.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@capnewsports

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Two BCHL Okanagan rivals clash Friday in West Kelowna

The Penticton Vees and West Kelowna Warriors meet for the first time this season Friday

Contenders to return for Okanagan tour

Valdy, Gary Fjellgaard and Blu and Kelly Hopkins will perform at six venues

Bike problem plagues Penticton triathlete at Ironman Kona

Penticton triathlete runs into bike problems at Ironman World Championship in Hawaii

Prost, raise your glass for Penticton Oktoberfest

The Penticton Lakeside Resort is the new venue for the annual event

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

Candidates for the Penticton municipal and school board election

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of B.C. girl

Garry Handlen accused of killing Merritt girl; also charged with Abbotsford murder

Bernardo-like sexual deviancy poorly understood, expert says

What exactly causes such deviance is not known but some evidence exists of physical brain damage to the front part of the brain

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read