Jackson triumphs at ladies’ bonspiel

Although a provincial women’s curling championship has eluded Kathie Jackson so far in her competitive curling career, she finally captured a title that also had slipped through her grasp until now.
The annual Fort Frances ladies’ bonspiel.
Jackson breezed through the competition in the 46th-annual affair last week, capping it off Sunday afternoon with an easy 7-0 shutout in just four ends over Paula Grandaw of International Falls in the ‘A’-event final.
Jackson stole a single in the first end, then stole two in the second, one in the third, and three more in the fourth to take the commanding lead. The teams shook hands after that.
“We curled very well all weekend and had only one eight-end game,” noted Jackson, whose rink included third Kim Beaudry, second Stacy Beacham, and lead Caroline Spencer.
“Our team has been curling competitively all season while most of the teams were curling for fun but it was really nice to finally win it.
“I was surprised we breezed through the competition,” she added.
Jackson opened action last Thursday night with a 14-2 win over Pearl Pidlubny. She followed that up with a 9-4 victory over Cindy Howarth, a tight 8-5 decision against Judy LaBelle, and then a 10-0 shutout over Sandra Robertson.
She trounced Tracey Coran 10-3 to advance to the final.
Jackson called her win over LaBelle the “best game” they’ve had at the curling club here all year.
For Jackson, the key to victory in the final for came in the very first end when she made an angle-raise takeout, allowing her rink to steal one to grab the early lead.
But Grandaw felt the turning point came in the third end when she allowed Jackson to steal one more instead of making her last shot to pull to within 3-1.
“I was able to cut her down in the other ends when she had lots of rocks in [the house],” Grandaw said.
Still, she was pleased with her rink’s 4-0 record to get to the final.
“I suppose my mindset was not what it should have been. I should have been more confident in winning the final against Kathie,” said Grandaw, 69, a two-time bonspiel winner here back in 1979 and 1987.
“They are a tad younger than us but it was fun to be in the final with just a pick-up team,” she added.
Grandaw’s rink, which included third Maxine Werner, second Bert Karasek, and lead Cathy Engelking, started with a 10-4 win over Tina Tookenay. Then they beat Charlotte Bazylewski 7-2, Fran O’Connell 8-7, and Leslie Armit 8-3.
Coran (with Mary Beth Tkachuk, Kerri Tolen, and Doris Barton) wound up third in the ‘A’ event while Leslie Armit (with Laurie Beninger, Leslie Baird, and Pat Steele) took fourth place.
< *c>Bonot wins ‘B’
In the ‘B’-event final, Jackie Bonot (Thunder Bay) cruised past Cheryl Bodnar (Fort Frances) 9-3, putting the game away with three in the seventh end.
Bonot’s rink, which included third Angela Lee, second Jacquee Savage, and lead Danielle Shrumm, lost their first game of the bonspiel 9-5 to Sandra Windego.
But they roared back with convincing wins over Karen Coffey (10-1), Tookenay (10-0), and Ann Onichuk (9-1) to reach the ‘B’ final.
Bodnar’s rink included Julie Crichton, Diane DeBenedet, and Maureen Ricard.
Onichuk, whose rink included Adrianne Anderson (skip’s stones), Elsie Ward, and Alice Wepruk, took third-place honours in the ‘B’-event while Patti Anderson (with Nettie Monasterski, Nancy Kantor, and Linda Pruys) finished fourth.
Meanwhile, Andrea Dumas (Thunder Bay) got past Lois Tabak (Fort Frances) 9-5 to win the ‘C’-event. Trailing 1-0, Dumas broke the game open with a pair in the second end and then added a huge steal of four in the third.
Her rink included third Cheryl Pile, second Susan Robinson, and lead Shelly Reitberger while Tabak’s crew featured Maureen Thomson, Elaine Caron, and Carol-Lea Laing.
Dumas was relegated to the ‘C’ event after losing her first two games–12-9 to Wendy Brunetta and 6-4 to Onichuk–but then her rink went undefeated the rest of the way, downing Karen Angus 6-5, Joanne Hyatt 7-1, and Tena Richert 12-0 to reach the final.
Richert (with Kim Stefanick, Krista Pruys, and Becky Crowe) came third in the ‘C’-event while Bonny Montgomery (with Sylvia Smeeth, Sandra Pruys, and Jill Coran) finished fourth.
< *c>Extra end
Finally, the ‘D’-event final saw Brunetta overcome Robertson 8-6 in an extra end.
Tied 3-3 after six ends, Brunetta scored three in the seventh but Robertson rebounded to tie the game at 6-6 with three of her own in the eighth to force an extra end.
Brunetta scored twice with the hammer in the ninth to nail down the win.
Brunetta’s rink, which included third Shelly Gustafson, second Patsy Roy, and lead Cathy DeGagne, opened play with a win against Dumas and a 12-3 victory over Montgomery before losing 7-3 to Armit.
But she rebounded with a 4-0 shutout over Roz Broman, 8-4 wins over LaBelle and O’Connell, and a 9-0 whitewash against Janey Sisco 9-0 to reach the final.
Robertson’s rink included Julie Lowry, Grace Angus, and Diana King.
O’Connell (curling with Vicki Allen, Arlene Georgeson, and Roberta Oliver) claimed third-place honours in the ‘D’-event.
Laura McTaggart, whose high school rink included Lindsay Roy/Shaunna Cuthbertson at third, Christin Thomson/Allison Cox at second, and Sarah Gushulak/Carling Barton at lead, finished in fourth place.