THE Birchards are one step closer to what could be an interesting family trip to Fort McMurray and the Canadian Junior Curling Championships next month.
Daniel Birchard and his sister Shannon both won their 1 vs. 1 playoff games at the 2013 Canola Junior Curling Championships at the Brandon Curling Club Sunday night.
And with that, they are one victory away from wearing Manitoba's colours at the nationals in Alberta.
Shannon Birchard, who represented Manitoba last year, and her St. Vital Curling Club foursome knocked off Beth Peterson of Victoria 4-3 in the 1 vs. 1 game to earn a bye to today's final, scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
And her brother Daniel and his rink from the Pembina Curling Club knocked off defending champion Kyle Doering of West Kildonan 7-2 in the junior men's 1 vs. 1 game.
Shannon will meet the winner of this morning's semifinal between Selena Kaatz of St. Vital, who eliminated Kristy Watling of Victoria 4-3.
Daniel will face the winner of the men's semifinal, which pits Doering against clubmate Matt Dunstone of West Kildonan, who eliminated Tanner Lott of Petersfield 9-7 Sunday night.
Both semifinals are scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
It's been a good week -- so far -- for the Birchards, who both went a perfect 7-0 in the round-robin before Sunday's playoffs.
Earlier in the day, the Canola Junior Championship awards were presented:
-- The Susan Galbraith Sportsmanship awards, as selected by the players in the competition, went to Daniel Birchard and Taylor Maida, second on Rebecca Lamb's Stonewall team.
-- The CurlManitoba Asham Coaching Excellence awards, as chosen by the coaches, went to Cathy Gauthier, coach of Rachel Burtnyk's Assiniboine Memorial team and Wilf Peters, who coaches his son Cole and his West St. Paul foursome.