January 27, 2011
Homan upsets defending champ McCarville
By STEVE GREEN, QMI Agency
THORNHILL -- A game many expected to be a preview of the final at the Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts had so many ups and downs Thursday night, it's a wonder no one got motion sickness.
In the end, Rachel Homan of Ottawa ran her record to 6-1 at the provincial women's curling championship with a wild 9-6 win at the Thornhill Golf and Country Club over two-time defending champion Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay Fort William, stealing three in the ninth when McCarville was light and tight on a draw to the four-foot and wrecked on a guard.
McCarville looked to have taken control in the fifth when she stole two after Homan practically gassed an open hit. Homan then rolled just a bit too far on a come-around tap for two in the sixth, taking only one and giving McCarville last rock with a 5-3 lead.
"Honestly, it was two rocks we lost control of. Both teams are so good, it's the difference of two rocks. Three rocks, really, my two and hers in nine," said Homan, who was visibly upset after her miss in the fifth. "The ice has streaks in it and that one looked fine out of my hand, but halfway down we were going crazy on it just to keep it on line."
The win clinched at least a tiebreaker spot for last year's national junior champion, but there's no chance of a letup.
"Definitely not," she said. "We had a lapse last night (an 8-6 loss to Susan McKnight of Uxbridge Wednesday) and we learned from that. We pulled together when things were down."
McCarville, who dropped to 4-3, tied for fourth with Lisa Farnell of Elgin Loonie CC, fell victim to the same unpredictable ice on her crucial miss.
"I had good weight, but I was tight and it curled," she said. "I was thinking more about the weight than the line.
"But it's still in our hands and that's all we can ask for."
McKnight and Tracy Horgan of Sudbury Idylwylde are at 5-2 and, like Homan, are guaranteed at least a tiebreaker spot after wins Thursday night. Horgan scored three in the fifth en route to a 7-5 win over Ashley Kallos of Fort William, while McKnight shaded Marlo Dahl of Thunder Bay Port Arthur 8-6.
Farnell lost 7-6 to Kristy Russell after the Shelburne skip made a hit for two in the 10th. It was the second win of the week for Russell, who had to move up from second to take over the rink when out-of-country work commitments made regular skip Christina Cadorin unavailable after they'd qualified out of the Challenge Round.
"It shook up the team dynamic and definitely added some stress we didn't need instead of excitement," said Russell, who has Kathy Freure in at second, with Michelle Gray and Joanne Curtis staying at third and lead, respectively. "But we've been close all week. We got smoked earlier today (8-2 by Homan), but I think we needed that."
Marika Bakewell of London Highland beat beat Alison Goring of the Club at North Halton 9-4 to leave both teams at 2-5 along with Dahl and Russell. Ironically, all 10 teams are still mathematically alive -- had Farnell won, the 2-5 teams would have been eliminated.
In the sixth round Thursday afternoon, McCarville beat Goring 9-4, Farnell thumped McKnight 8-2, Homan needed only six ends to whip Russell 8-2, Kallos doubled Bakewell 8-4 and Horgan took one in the 10th to edge Dahl 7-6.
The round-robin concludes with two games Friday. Depending on tiebreakers, the Page 1-2 playoff game is at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. Saturday, the 3-4 game is 7 p.m. Saturday, the semifinal is 9:30 a.m. Sunday and the final is 2 p.m. Sunday.