Local rink falls short of playoffs in pre-trials event

·3 min read

Jill Brothers didn’t have the kind of return to her hometown that she wanted.

Brothers and her squad finished the round-robin portion of the 2021 Home Hardware Canadian Curling Pre-Trials held Oct. 25-31 at Queens Place Emera Centre with a one-win and five-loss record putting her out of the playoffs.

“We had a tough loss in the first game and that led to some pretty rocky games, so that wasn’t super fun,” she said following her final game Oct. 29. “But we bounced back and had a really fun game against Sherry Anderson and a pretty good final game against (Mackenzie) Zacharias.”

The top two men’s and women’s teams from the pre-trials advance to the Tim Hortons Curling Trials in Saskatoon Nov. 20-28. The winners move on to represent Canada at the Beijing Olympics next February.

Earning berths on the men’s side were: Jason Gunnlaugson (A) of Manitoba and Tanner Horgan (B) of Ontario. On the women’s side it was Krista McCarville (A) of Ontario and Jacqueline Harrison (B) also from Ontario.

The Brothers rink, playing out of the Mayflower Curling Club, consists of lead Jenn Mitchell, second Sarah Murphy and third Erin Carmody.

The 28 men’s and women’s teams were split into two divisions each. Teams play a round-robin within their division to start.

The Brothers began the competition with an 8-7 loss to Darcy Robertson’s rink of Winnipeg on Oct. 26. They then conceded three straight games, losing 11-4 to Hollie Duncan’s rink from Ontario; 11-4 to Suzanne Birt from P.E.I. and 10-4 to Danielle Inglis of Ontario.

They picked up their first win of the event with a 9-8 win over veteran Sherry Anderson of Saskatchewan, before losing their final game Oct. 29 against Zacharias of Altona, Manitoba.

Brothers said there were a couple of reasons she could look at for their tough go. For one, Murphy is returning from having a baby just four weeks ago and did not play with the team when they qualified for the pre-trials in Ottawa last month.

She said that took a bit to get used to again and reading the ice didn’t come easy for the squad.

“We definitely had our hiccups and our half shots weren’t there,” she said. “Plus, if you give up a big end against these teams you’re just kind of sunk. It’s hard to get back in when you’re not making shots or making half shots and ticking guards.”

She added that things were turning around for them the last couple of games which felt pretty good.

For her, it was also nice to be playing competitive curling in her hometown of Liverpool where she has found plenty of success. One of the most memorable events came in 2007 when she defeated Colleen Jones to win her first provincial women’s title.

Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

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