Measurement decides bonspiel winner
Jenkyns rink beats Graham rink by one point in St. Albert Centre Ladies Bonspiel final
Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 06:00 am
The Lauren Jenkyns rink won the St. Albert Centre Ladies Bonspiel by the slimmest of margins Sunday.
The winning point was decided on measurement in the eighth end as Jenkyns counted two with the hammer to edge Carla Graham of Fort Saskatchewan 6-5 in a barnburner at the St. Albert Curling Club.
“It was a very close game. It could’ve gone either way at any point. There was like four measurements that game,” said a relived-looking Jenkyns. “We had a couple of lucky breaks throughout the game and so did they.”
Jenkyns remained shot rock after Graham’s last delivery in eight crashed into a rock just past the hog line.
“We thought it was them (for second shot) so that’s why we attempted the draw to go for the win rather than hitting and hoping she would miss her last rock,” Graham said.
Jenkyns decided to go for two with her final attempt in eight instead of relying on a measurement but her rock ground to a screeching halt in front of the rings.
“We were pretty sure we were second shot in that last end. We looked at them pretty hard and we were pretty convinced,” Jenkyns said. “We were confident throwing that last rock because we didn’t think we really needed it but better safe than sorry.”
The way the final ended symbolized how tightly played it was.
“There were a lot of measurements. It was very close. We were pretty evenly matched so it was an exciting match,” said Graham, who skipped her impressive lineup of third Sarah Domes, second Dana Schesnuk and lead Genny Hay to victory at the Edmonton and area Tournament of Champions last year curling out of the Shamrock.
Jenkyns, third Kathy Piper, second Laurie Schreiner and lead Cindy Bobowik counted one in the first, stole a point in two and in four scored a deuce to lead 4-1 before Graham’s second-year team got rolling.
“We started off a bit weak. We had a hard time finishing our draw weight but as the game went on we found our draw weight and battled back,” Graham said.
In six Graham was shooting for a four-ender but settled for three.
“That definitely swung the momentum in our direction and we kept it close after that,” she said.
Some surprising misses by the back end from the Alberta reps at the 2013 Dominion Curling Club Championships opened the door for Graham to knot the score.
“It was just unfortunate that Kathy missed both of hers and then two misses from me,” Jenkyns said. “They managed to only get three but we were able to bounce back. After that our game plan didn’t change a whole lot against them. It was a little more about execution. We were just a little bit off in this game and even a little bit in the last game (semifinal win against the Scott rink) but we were able to make a couple of key ones as well to come out ahead.”
In seven Graham stole the go-ahead point after a measurement to set up the nail-bitter in eight.
“We just couldn’t pull it together coming home. It came down to a measure for the win on their side so we can’t ask for much more than that,” said Graham.
Her young team polished off the Campbell, Smiley and Mortensen rinks en route to the final of the 24-team bonspiel.
“It was our first time curling in the St. Albert ladies bonspiel and we had a lot of fun. We’ll be back,” said Graham, whose team curled under the Thailand banner, with Country Challenge as the Olympic theme for the competition.
It was a sweet repeat for Jenkyns, Piper and Schreiner after winning last year’s bonspiel with Christina Monk as the skip.
The reigning President’s Cup playoff champions at the St. Albert club knocked off Diana Backer, their lead at Dominions, in the first game before rolling past the Erickson and Niemeyer rinks for a semifinal berth.
“It was a great spiel. We had a lot of fun, of course,” Jenkyns said. “We were Team Norway so we had awesome pants but we didn’t wear them today. You should have seen them.”
The Wednesday night league rink in St. Albert has only one loss (when the team was at the Dominion nationals and Bobowik and three spares were left in charge) with the club playoffs less than two weeks away to determine the St. Albert rep at the Tournament of Champions.
The Dominion northerns also starts March 27 for the 2013 Alberta champions, who fell one shot short of forcing a tiebreaker at the Dominion nationals in November at Thunder Bay, Ont. They finished in a three-way tie for third place at 3-3 in the seven-team grey pool.
“We’re not quite as sharp as we were at this time last year so we’ve been working on a few things after going to the Dominions. Hopefully we can get that all sorted out so we can be back to our A game before the playdowns,” Jenkyns said.