Lead Will Duggan

Lead Will Duggan

Morris overpowers Montgomery for B.C. men’s curling crown

Olympic medalist put hammer down early on Victoria-Duncan foursome

The John Morris rink leapt out to a 6-1 lead after five ends and cruised to an 11-2 win over Jason Montgomery of Duncan to grab B.C.’s spot in next month’s Tim Horton’s Brier in Kamloops.

It didn’t take long for Morris, who won Olympic gold in 2010 and a world championship with Alberta’s Kevin Martin, to record his first B.C. title. He left the Martin rink after last season, moved to B.C. and hooked up with Vernon’s Jim Cotter for the 2013-14 campaign.

Sunday’s final saw the champs set the tone early, scoring three in the first end against Montgomery, for whom Victoria third Jody Epp threw skip rocks. The teams traded points back and forth for the next five ends before Morris and company notched four in the seventh end to make it 10-2.

A steal of one by Morris in the eighth prompted Montgomery, who had Will Duggan at lead and Myles Craig playing second, to shake hands and concede the game.

The Morris rink, with Cotter throwing last, Rick Sawatsky at lead and Tyrel Griffith at second, were solid all game, making a combined 84 per cent of their shots compared to 76 for Montgomery’s rink.

Where Morris and company went 6-0 at the tournament, Montgomery’s rink (7-3 overall) had a much tougher road to the final, coming through the C event. They beat Kimberley’s Tom Buchy 9-1 and Royal City’s Brent Pierce 8-7 in the Page Playoff.

Morris beat Neil Dangerfield of Victoria 6-5 in the A event final earlier in the weekend to take the No. 1 slot in the Page Playoff showdown, then downed Pierce 9-8 to advance to the championship game.