Neufeld back for one last try

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 11:04 AM ET

La Salle's Sabrina Neufeld had planned to focus on women's play when she suddenly discovered that she had no junior team this year.

Both second Laryssa Grenkow and lead Breanne Meakin, who had played with Neufeld, joined Pembina's defending champion Kaitlyn Lawes this season.

But Neufeld scrambled a junior squad together a week before the rural zone playdowns and the three-time Manitoba junior champ skipped it into the provincials last weekend.

"It's my last year so I wanted to go for it and I don't regret it," said Neufeld, supported by third Nikki Hawrylyshen, second Jasmine Bracken and Brenna Philp.

This week, Neufeld will turn her attention to the women's rural zones, back at third for La Salle's Calleen Neufeld (no relation), her former junior skip.

WORST TURNOUT: Only 14 teams entered the women's city zone playdowns, which is believed to be the worst total ever entered and yet another strong argument for paring the number of teams (16) that qualify for the provincials.

Two-time champion Barb Spencer of Fort Rouge has been deemed the No. 1 seed for the zones, to be played at the Fort Garry Curling Club, this Thursday through Sunday. She is followed by Assiniboine Memorial's three-time champ Janet Harvey, Karen Porritt of Fort Rouge, her clubmate Holly Scott and Deer Lodge's Kaileigh Strath, in that order.

The field includes Assiniboine Memorial's Michelle Montford, who failed to qualify at the junior women's city zones last week.

SENIOR BERTH EARNED: When Minnedosa's Jean Garbolinsky advanced to a semifinal of a senior women's berth bonspiel against Brandon's Lois Fowler at the Charleswood Curling Club yesterday, she earned a senior women's provincial berth because Fowler already had one. The winner of last night's semifinal between Brandon's Linda Van Daele and Joyce McDougall of Souris would get the other provincial spot up for grabs.

The final for a senior men's berth bonspiel will be held in Killarney today.

LYBURN QUALIFIES: Brandon's Allan Lyburn, Ontario's Ken Anderson, Hamiota's Kelly Skinner and Portage la Prairie's Ryan Hyde were the first four teams to qualify at a World/Manitoba Curling Tour men's event in Dauphin. The final is today.

Manitoba's David Bohn Daley Peters and (Mike McEwen) were trying to qualify at a WCT event in Saskatoon last night.

Neither Manitoba's reigning world champion Jennifer Jones nor Karen Porritt qualified at a women's Grand Slam in New Glasgow, N.S. on the weekend.


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