Five times a charm for Royal City skip

Four times Royal City Curling Club skip Andrew Bilesky took to the ice with the knowledge of win and he was in to the provincial men’s championship. Four times he came out on the losing end. But not the fifth time.

Bilesky’s foursome edged Brad Thompson of Kamloops 6-5 in his final opportunity to qualify at the men’s open tournament held at the Golden Ears Curling Club in Maple Ridge last week. And even then, he almost blew it taking a 5-2 lead before needing a single point in the 10th to claim a spot in the 16-team provincials Feb. 5-10 in Parksville.

He was coming off a 7-4 victory over former Royal City clubmate Bryan Miki in a C-event qualifying semifinal. Bilesky, along with third Steve Kopf, second Derek Errington and lead Aaron Watson, also lost 7-6 to Abbotsford’s Dean Joanisse in a B qualifying final and 8-5 to Neil Dangerfield of Victoria in the A final.

At the Lower Mainland playdowns last month, Bilesky lost qualifying games in both the B and C events. A win in any of those qualifying games would have given the team a trip to Parksville, but it wasn’t until the fifth and final opportunity before they got it.

They will be joined at the provincials by four Royal City squads headed by Brent Pierce, Sean Geall, Jay Wakefield and Ken McArdle.

• The women’s provincial championship starts Monday in Cloverdale with three RCCC teams playing. Skip Marilou Richter will be joined by Darah Provencal, Jessie Sanderson and Sandra Comedina, while Lori Olsen will direct Rachelle Kallechy, Lindsae Page and Theresa Tourand, and Kirsten Fox will play alongside Kristen Recksidler, Trysta Vandale and Dawn Suliak.

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