Homan rocks in London

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

For the second straight year the bank account of the Rachel Homan rink got a big boost from a trip to London.

Homan's junior-age rink from the Ottawa Curling Club defended its Southwestern Ontario Women's Charity Cashspiel title with a 9-4 victory yesterday over world championship finalist Bingya Wang of China. The teams shook hands after seven ends at the Highland Country Club.

It was a game of fine shot-making by Homan, lead Lynn Kreviazuk, second Alison Kreviazuk and third Emma Miskew. They got a few lucky rolls, but more often than not, when you make the right shot choices, things work out.

The Homan rink emerged atop a strong field that included Mary Anne Arsenault of Halifax, Marilyn Bodogh of St. Catharines, Alison Goring of Toronto, Jenn Hanna of Ottawa, Debbie McCormick of the United States and locals Kim Tuck and Amie Coward of Ilderton.

Homan and her rink pocketed $11,000 for the win, with the Wang rink earning $7,000 of the $35,000 purse.

"Not sure what we'll do with the money, but we're just excited to get a purse, though," Homan said with a laugh.

Her team took the lead by scoring two in the first end, then forced Wang to take one in the second. In the third, Homan made a great double and rolled behind cover. It left her with an open hit for three.

Wang came back with two in the fourth, then tried a dangerous long angle raise in the fifth. Wang removed her own stone and Homan turned the mistake into three points.

"I really didn't know what to expect from them because I never played them before," Homan said. "You just knew you had to come out with your A game and make no mistakes. I heard that their strategy when you mixed it up a lot might be a little unsure, but they were doing really well. She called a really good game."

Homan has made one change from the rink what won last year's event and two years ago finished third in the national junior championship and second last year. Lead Nikki Johnston was replaced by Lynn Kreviazuk, who joins her sister Alison on the team.

"She really has fit in well," Homan said. "She's such a positive person."

Wang finished last year's women's world championship in first place after the round robin defeating Canada's Jennifer Jones in the first playoff game but losing to Jones in the final 7-5.

Wang has been in Canada playing for a month-and-a-half. Her team now heads to New Zealand.

"This is the second time we come to London," the 24-year-old skip said. "I thought we played well because we didn't know the teams . The ice here is different than even the London (Curling) Club. The ice there was much straighter. We learned so many things. We played so many different teams. The experience was very important for us."

Wang and her team have been together for five years. They are full-time curlers.

"Curling is our job. We curl for maybe 10-months. We do running (off-ice training.) We only have one month holidays," Wang said.

Wang is looking forward to the world championships but admitted the real goal for the Chinese team was the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Wang said the team is surprised somewhat by the speed with which they have learned the game but playing so well at the world championships has given them a lot of confidence.

Wang says they still have some work to do when it comes to the intricacies of the sport though.

"We have so many things to learn but I think the most important is feeling," she said. "Canadian players have such great feeling for the ice. They can (read it) so quickly. For us it's one or two ends. We have to learn to read it more quickly."

As for Homan, she says playing in this event is a good stepping stone for the rest of the season.

"We played really well. All of our games have been so close. The field here is amazing with so many good teams. I don't think we had any blowouts," Homan said. "It gives us a ton of experience. You can't find a bonspiel like this anywhere else. The amount of teams, the purse is amazing, the great games you get. It's a really good team building bonspiel."


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