Lisa Penner and her rinkmates will have to settle for wading in a shallower pool.
Northern Ontario, skipped by Kenora-based skip Peggy Taylor with Penner at third and Kenora’s Noreen Donnelly at second and Tracy Stasiuk at lead, failed to qualify in the top eight overall to advance to the championship pool at the 2016 Everest senior women’s national curling championship in Digby, N.S.
After finishing fifth at last year’s nationals, the Taylor crew went 1-5 in the preliminary round to wind up sixth in Pool ‘A’ with a 1-5 record.
That means Northern Ontario will finish their week in the Maritimes battling it out with the Yukon, Manitoba, B.C., the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in the seeding pool to determine the rankings for each province for next year’s nationals.
Taylor and Co. lost their first two games of the week before topping skip Debbie Moss and the Northwest Territories in their first game on Tuesday.
But later that same day, Northern Ontario was edged 5-4 by 1998 Scotties Tournament of Hearts national champion and 2013 Canadian and world seniors titleist Cathy King of Alberta.
Needing to win both its games yesterday to have a shot at the championship pool, the Taylor foursome instead lost both to fall out of contention.
Sherry Anderson and her undefeated Saskatchewan rink stole two in the seventh and ran Northern Ontario out of rocks in the eighth to take a 6-3 decision.
Then Quebec’s Catherine Derick delivered the fatal blow to Taylor’s chances in the evening draw by popping a three-ender in the first and closing things out with a steal of two to record a 7-1 triumph with Northern Ontario surrendering after five ends.
Taylor needed a win to stay alive for the championship pool after 13-time P.E.I. provincial women’s titleholder Kim Dolan and her rink defeated Nunavut’s Robin Manoll 8-2 in the afternoon draw to move to 2-4.
The Taylor quartet took on Manitoba’s Sandra Cowling in its only game today (the game was incomplete as of press time).
Northern Ontario then ends its week with two games tomorrow at 2 p.m. against the Northwest Territories and at 6 p.m. against Leslie Grant and the Yukon, who started Taylor’s difficult week by beating Northern Ontario 6-5 in its first game.
There are plenty of heavy hitters joining two-time national Scotties medalist Anderson in the championship pool.
Six-time world women’s champion Colleen Jones of the host province tied with King, 14-time Newfoundland and Labrador women’s champion Cathy Cunningham and Ontario’s Jo-Ann Rizzo for the second-best preliminary-round record at 5-1.
Heidi Hanlon of New Brunswick, an 11-time provincial women’s champion and the 2012 world seniors winner, is also in the mix after going 4-2.
Quebec and P.E.I. round out the championship pool, which continues tomorrow, with the gold and bronze-medal games set for Saturday.