Two times too tough

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:01 AM ET

Back-to-back titles would have been too much to ask for.

It wasn't even on Cheryl Bernard's mind yesterday during the championship game of the 27th annual Trail Appliances Autumn Gold Classic.

"Oh no, you never think like that," said Bernard, who one week earlier won $5,300 as champion of the Vernon cashspiel. "You think more like, 'Hey, let's get out there and see what happens.' "

But it didn't happen.

The Calgary skip came up short on a couple of draw shots and handed Saskatoon's Stefanie Miller a 9-3 victory and the $14,000 champion's cheque.

"Finals just seem to swing one way or the other," said Bernard, who skips for third Susan O'Connor, second Jody McNabb and lead Karen Ruus. "That was a tough one. We just weren't as sharp for this one as we were in the other games but you know what? We had two really good weekends in a row and really good money in our bank account."

The Calgary rink started on the right foot. O'Connor made a huge shot -- a triple-raise double takeout -- to prevent Miller from counting more than one in the first end.

Bernard was counting two in the second end and could have taken control of the game on a draw for three. But her shot was heavy and she had to settle for two.

Miller got her own deuce back in the next end and Bernard singled in the fourth to tie 3-3.

Miller went ahead with two more in the fifth and then Bernard's misses meant the difference.

In back-to-back ends, Bernard was drawing against two, couldn't find the spot and gave up the steals.

"Her last draw, it looked like it might have picked or something," said Miller, who was a 2000 world junior silver medallist. "It really took the other turn.

"But that's the way the game goes. Tough luck."

Miller, along with third and sister Marliese Miller, second Sherri Singler and lead Chelsey Bell, head to Medicine Hat this weekend for the Meyers Norris Penny Charity Classic.

The Autumn Gold title earned the Miller rink valuable points toward qualifying for the $55,000 Canada Cup West in Edmonton, Dec. 15-19.

Bernard is in the hunt as well, heading for the BDO Classic in Kelowna this weekend.


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