Jackson rink still struggling at Northerns

Lorne Jackson had said Tuesday night that his Fort Frances rink needed to win at least two of their three draws Wednesday to have a shot at the playoff round of the Northern Ontario men’s curling playdowns in Kapuskasing.
Instead, Jackson only managed to win one of his games yesterday and sits in a tie for last place with a 1-4 record heading into his two round-robin draws today.
“We need to win our last three [games] and just hope for a playoff spot now,” Jackson admitted this morning as he got ready to face Tom Armstrong (Kirkland Lake) this afternoon.
Then they’ll square off against Rob Gordon (Cobalt-Haileybury) in tonight’s draw. After a bye tomorrow morning, Jackson will wrap up round-robin play against Al Harnden (Sault Ste. Marie) on Friday afternoon.
Jackson’s rink, including third Don DeBenedet, second Derek Jackson, and lead Wayne Beacham, dropped a 9-4 decision to Ron Rosengren (Fort William) yesterday morning.
They rebounded to earn their first win against Tim Phillips (Sudbury) 9-3, but fell by that same score against Brad Minogue (North Bay) last night.
Rosengren, who like Jackson is competing in his first year as skip at the Northerns, led the pack at 5-0 going into action this afternoon.
Phillips was next at 3-2, followed by a logjam at third with four rinks at 2-2, including defending champ Al Hackner (Fort William).
The top four teams after the round-robin will move on to the playoffs, which feature the “Page” system playoff. The final is set for Saturday night, with the winner advancing to the Nokia Brier.
Jackson’s crucial loss yesterday was against Minogue, who jumped out to a 7-2 lead after five ends after scoring three in each the third and fifth ends.
“We missed a close shot in the third and that gave him opportunity for three and that ended it,” said Jackson, who went on to score one in the sixth but could get no closer as Minogue tallied again in the seventh and ninth ends.
One draw earlier, he played four blank ends with Phillips until scoring four in the fifth. Jackson then pulled away with two in the seventh and three more in the eighth.
Jackson said his squad has been able to hang in with the field.
“There’s been improvements. We played extremely well against Phillips and controlled the play for the most part,” he noted.