The brass ring was in reach for Jenna Enge, but she and her rinkmates weren’t quite able to reach up and grab it.
Enge, a former Muskie curler who hails from Devlin, played second for Tracy Horgan’s rink from the Idylwylde Golf and Country Club in Sudbury at the Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Thornhill, which wrapped up Sunday.
Horgan got to within one game of the final but was sent to the sidelines in a 7-5 loss in Sunday’s semi-final to four-time provincial champ Krista McCarville of the Fort William Curling Club in Thunder Bay.
McCarville’s drive for five, including a third-straight title, was stopped short by Ottawa’s Rachel Homan, last year’s world junior women’s silver-medallist.
Homan, who had finished first after round-robin play at 8-1, booted McCarville from her throne with a 9-6 victory in the final.
As for Horgan, she put together an impressive week with a 7-2 record in the preliminary round to wind up in second place.
She started the event with a 10-7 win over Lisa Farnell (Peterborough), then edged London’s Marika Bakewell 7-6 before getting past three-time provincial champ Alison Goring 10-8.
Horgan hit a cold spot when she dropped her next two games to the two eventual finalists—6-2 to Homan and 8-4 to McCarville.
But the Sudbury skip turned things around to win her last four games of the round-robin. She nipped Marlo Dahl (Port Arthur Curling Club) 7-6, then beat another Fort William rep, Ashley Kallos, by a 7-5 score.
That was followed by a 10-5 doubling of Shelburne’s Kristy Russell and a 10-7 triumph over Susan McKnight (Uxbridge).
Horgan qualified for the 1 vs. 2 Page Playoff game against Homan, with an automatic berth to the final on the line.
But Homan was clicking on all cylinders in a 12-4, eight-end thrashing of Horgan, which dropped the Sudbury crew into the semi-final match-up against McCarville, who earlier had beaten McKnight in the 3 vs. 4 Page Playoff game.
Horgan led the semi-final 3-1 after three ends, but McCarville struck back with three in the fourth to go up by one.
A single in the fifth drew Horgan even, but McCarville was too tough down the stretch, notching a single in the seventh and then a steal of one in the eighth.
She then countered Horgan’s single in the ninth with one of her own in the 10th while holding the hammer.
Meanwhile, Stratton’s Jackie McCormick took her own shot at the title while playing second for Kallos, but the task became troublesome as the rink missed the playoffs while tying for seventh in the round-robin at 3-6.
Kallos was dumped 11-3 by Goring in seven ends in the opening draw, but recovered impressively with a 6-2 defeat of Russell and a tight 8-7 decision over Dahl to move one game over the .500 mark.
But losses in five of their last six games doomed the Kallos rink.
McKnight topped the Thunder Bay group 9-6 while Farnell escaped with a 6-5 win. Kallos halted the losing skid with an 8-4 victory over Bakewell, but then dropped her last three in a row.
That included the loss to Horgan, a 7-6 heartbreaker against McCarville, and a 7-4 defeat to Homan.
With the title under her belt in her first year of eligibility, Homan now heads to Charlottetown, P.E.I. for the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts from Feb. 19-27.