Jones dumps lead on eve of Scotties

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

Although she leads the cash tour in earnings and is the odds-on favourite to win her third Manitoba women's title later this month, St. Vital's Jennifer Jones dumped her lead on the eve of the 2007 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

And Dana Allerton does not know what hit her.

"It wasn't my decision," Allerton said yesterday. "I worked really hard and felt like I was part of the team, but they felt they needed to go in a different direction. I had sacrificed a lot and was shocked that they would ask me to leave. I was pumped to go to the provincials, and now I won't get the chance."

Allerton, the lead for Jones when she won her first provincial crown in 2002, had replaced Georgina Wheatcroft this season. With Allerton at lead, Jones qualified for the provincials and won the recent Canada Cup qualifying bonspiel in Ottawa. Allerton will also miss both the Canada Cup and the Players' Championship. Team fifth/coach Janet Arnott will replace Allerton.

"Looking at the big picture, they felt I wasn't the right player for them," said Allerton, who is now without a team. "I felt I was improving and getting to the level where I needed to be, but obviously they felt they needed to go in a different direction."

Although Jones could not be reached for comment, second Jill Officer issued a release announcing the change, saying Allerton "is leaving due to the international expectations of the team" and the squad decided to make the dramatic move after "much discussion and deliberation."


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