Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jacksons take first step

Kathie Jackson is on her way again.
And this time, her significant other is coming along for the ride.

Jackson and her team of third Teresa McFayden, second Lisa Penner, and lead Kris Sinclair topped Kim Beaudry 7-3 in six ends last Tuesday to win the local round of The Dominion Curling Club championships.
Proving that curlers forget about yesterday quickly, Jackson and her defending provincial champion quartet found themselves one loss away from not even making it to the regionals in Atikokan that start this Friday—a little over two months after representing Northern Ontario at The Dominion nationals in Thunder Bay.
“We are excited to get to Atikokan and especially getting to go with my husband,” Jackson said about her spouse, Lorne, one of the best local male curlers of this generation.
Lorne Jackson earned his berth to Atikokan by defeating last year’s Fort champ, Raymond Roy, 2-1 in a best-of-three showdown between the only two men’s teams to enter the competition here.
Lorne beat Roy in the first game, but lost the second before clinching the series in the decisive third game (scores were unavailable).
That still was less work than his wife had to put in.
Kathie Jackson, Beaudry, and Christine Jean all tied at 2-1 after three weeks of round-robin play on the women’s side, with Charlotte Bazylewski being the other female rink participating here.
“I think it’s wonderful we had four women’s teams competing this year,” Kathie Jackson enthused.
“I hope the run we had last year sparked some interest.
“I think that showed all the club curlers that if we can do it, they can do it,” she reasoned.
A pre-determined decision to draw to the button to see who would get a bye to the final worked in Beaudry’s favour, as she was closest to the centre in the sharp-shooting challenge.
That left Jackson to face Jean in the semi-final, which Jackson won easily (no score available) to set up a final clash with Beaudry and her rink of third Kelly Wagar, second Taylor Hartlin, and lead Dana Begin.
But it was an unsettling game from the get-go for Beaudry, who struggled early to find the proper weight and consistently hit the target.
In the first end, Beaudry’s draw came up short in front of the house with Jackson already lying two—allowing Jackson a clear draw for three, which she made no mistake on.
Then in the second, Beaudry tried to come off a stone out front and slide into the button, but her shooter slid through the rings to give Jackson a steal of one and a 4-0 lead.
Beaudry pulled off a textbook hit-and-stick for two in the third to slice the lead in half. But Jackson drew to the button for a single in the fourth, leading to a disastrous fifth.
Trying to hit-and-stay for a single, Beaudry instead rolled out with her final stone and gave Jackson a steal of two to go ahead 7-2.
A single in the sixth was not enough to keep Beaudry around to the end, as she shook hands at that point.
“The girls curled well the whole six ends—something we need to keep doing along the rest of the road,” stressed Jackson.
“We’re pretty confident going into regionals,” she added.
“We thought last year one of the toughest teams we faced on the way to the provincials was Christine Jean and we got past her here this time.”
Jackson will face the host Atikokan rink, as well as representatives from Keewatin and Kenora, in a double round-robin format.
The team with the best record will advance to the provincials.
On the men’s side, Lorne Jackson will take on teams from Atikokan, Keewatin, Kenora, Stratton, and Red Lake in a single round-robin format, with the first-place team punching their ticket to the Northern Ontario playdowns.

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