Porritt's back's to wall

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

In her first year back at the helm, St. Vital's Karen Porritt earned her way into last weekend's Manitoba Curling Tour championships.

And her new foursome was the only Manitoba women's team to qualify at the inaugural Canada Cup West Bonspiel in Edmonton.

Yet, Porritt is still seeking a spot in this year's provincial Scott Tournament of Hearts in Souris and her last chance comes in the Manitoba Curling Association's annual women's bonspiel, which starts at the Heather and Victoria Curling Clubs (today).

Trouble is, Porritt will be doing it without the full complement of players.

"Lynne's going to Disney World with her family so we had to get a spare (Karen Martin)," Porritt said, referring to her sister, Lynne Fallis-Kurz, the team's second. "And I will have to miss a game (tomorrow) because it is my daughter's (fifth) birthday.

"The kids are our priority and that's why I'm not playing with Jennifer (Jones) and I told these girls (Janice Blair and Susan Baleja) that."

Porritt had played third for Jones when she won the 2002 Manitoba title but hooked up with Blair and Baleja after Jones joined forces with Cathy Overton-Clapham and Cathy Gauthier.

ANOTHER SHOT

"As long as we win our first game, we'll still have another shot if we lose (tomorrow)," said Porritt, who is enjoying holding the broom again. "I get cold because I don't get any exercise (sweeping) but I like it because I like calling my own shots.

"The pressure (of throwing the last rock) never bothered me. You've got to make your shots no matter when you throw them."

And she has had some measure of success.

"Yeah, we played well in Edmonton and we played on good ice there," said Porritt, who was one win away from qualifying for the Canada Cup. "I know the men complained about the ice but they're used to playing on that great ice at the Grand Slams. But there's not a lot of good ice in Manitoba. It's just not conducive to finesse shots.

"Hopefully, it all goes well because I would love to go play on Hans (Wuthrich) and Eric (Montford) ice in Souris."

Ainsley Champagne of Fort Rouge beat Porritt in the city zone playdowns.

"That Champagne has a good young team and they played very well against us in the zones," Porritt said.

Other teams of note still seeking the last Scott spot available through the women's spiel include Shauna Streich of Fort Rouge, Brandon's Liza Park, Stonewall's Patti Burtnyk and St. Vital's Lisa Fargey.

The final will be played at the Heather on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.


Photos