Jones still tops at local curling club

ADAM WAZNY -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

"Yes!"

That was the collective reaction from the 30 or so people watching at the St. Vital Curling Club when British Columbia skip Kelly Scott slid her first rock past a yellow Team Canada stone and through the rings in the 10th end at the Scott Tournament of Hearts yesterday.

Team Canada, skipped by St. Vital's Jennifer Jones, needed to steal a point to force an extra end.

But as quickly as hope came for the patrons of the Last Shot Lounge, it soon came up short.

Jones could not capitalize on the B.C. miss and Scott -- who used to curl out of the Deer Lodge Curling Club -- unseated Team Jones to claim the Canadian women's curling title.

Quietly, the disappointed group discussed the 8-6 loss.

In their eyes, Jones is still the star of St. Vital.

"She means quite a bit to our club," Richard Muntain, president of the St. Vital club said. "She's been here since she was a kid (her dad is a past president) and she's still an active member at the club.

"A lot of us see that she puts a lot of her heart and soul into curling, so she's a valuable member."

As suggested by many watching the big screens at SVCC, Jones seemingly couldn't find a good rhythm, playing from behind for most of the game.

'Disappointing'

"It's disappointing she won't be going (to the world championships in Grand Prairie, Alta.)," said Michelle, a local curling fan who didn't want to give her last name. "That's the way it goes. All game she had to make some difficult shots and they didn't work out for her."

All week there has been an excitement around the St. Vital rink, members strolling in at various times asking how the Jones team did in the morning draw or heading upstairs for a bite to eat and a quick update on the Jones score.

"It's been that way for the last year," Muntain said. "You can really feel the buzz around here. People are pretty excited to see her. She plays here every Tuesday and there are usually a couple more people in the rink.

"People love watching a champion play."

As does the St. Vital men's league where Jones -- when she's not off to national championships or competing for world titles -- is an active participant.

"There's usually just her and (third Cathy Overton-Clapham) here," Muntain said, noting that second Jill Officer lives in Brandon and lead Georgina Wheatcroft resides in B.C.

"But they're holding their own," the president laughed.

"The guys like it when they don't show up because then they have a chance to win. If they had their whole team here they'd win all the time.

"The club is always super proud of her. She'll be back next year."


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