Jones tied at the top

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:22 PM ET

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -- Just when it looked like she had re-discovered her game, Manitoba's Jennifer Jones was forced to win ugly.

After dropping her opening game of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Jones rattled off four straight, then was forced to overcome her own mistakes to beat both B.C.'s Kelley Law 11-5 and P.E.I.'s stubborn Suzanne Gaudet 7-6 at the Enmax Centre yesterday.

'PLAYED VERY WELL'

"We started out really well, then had a couple of ends in the middle that weren't our strongest ends," Manitoba second Jill Officer conceded after the win over Law. "But we had a couple of really good ends later in the game. Like the end where we got three and that last end, we played very well."

Jones was in deep doo-doo in the eighth end when she made a superb angle-raise takeout to lie two behind cover. After Law wrecked on a guard, Jones drew for three and a 7-5 lead. Then she took advantage of Law miscues to steal four in the ninth.

Jones, who was shooting 55% at one point in the match, made amends for earlier errors.

"That's what skips do," said Officer. "I don't feel like that was my best game of the week, either. So, we all struggled at points but kind of stuck in there and pulled through. We gave up the one bad end (for three in the sixth) and that was kind of a bad break on that one of Jen's ... If we make that one, we don't give up three."

Jones, however, denied playing poorly at all versus B.C.

"I thought I had a really good game so, that's what stats do," she said. "I felt great. I felt great with draw weight. I missed a couple of hits but I thought I made a lot of good shots. I felt good out there.

"We had a couple of close games. I thought we played well and got two wins out of it. It's a long week and it was a big day."

Jones moved into a first-place tie with Team Canada's Kelly Scott and Saskatchewan's Jan Betker at 6-1.

"It feels really good," Officer said. "At the start of the week, especially Day 1, it was a little shaky so, it feels good to be there. That was a big win."

'FEELING GOOD'

Manitoba is now one win away from assuring itself of at least a tie-breaker.

"We're feeling good and I feel we're getting better and more precise ," Jones said. "That's what you want to do as the week goes on."

Against, P.E.I., Jones needed to make a squeeze-double for the tying deuce in the ninth end, then stole the winning point in the 10th.

"I don't call it winning ugly at all," Officer objected. "It was just a couple of shots we missed later in the game for big ends. Other than that, I think we played pretty well and felt pretty good out there. We just had to pull it out in the end. It was a little tighter than it needed to be."

Jones, who shot a team-low 70% in that one, admitted that she missed a few takeouts because she was throwing them overhand.

"I felt I played well, there's just two shots I'd like over again," she said

Manitoba plays Ontario's Krista Scharf (5-2) and Alberta's resurging Cheryl Bernard (4-3) in two key matches today.


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