Jones' win sends Strong to sidelines

Robin
Robin Short
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Jennifer Jones walked a tightrope with Heather Strong for the second time in less than two months yesterday, and just as she did at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in February, the reigning Canadian and world champ skirted a freefall to squeeze out a win against the St. John's skip.

Knocked out

Jones 7-6 victory Thursday afternoon knocked Strong from the Tylenol Players Championship. Strong, Cathy Cunningham, Laura Strong and Peg Goss finished at 0-3.

This was the colorful scene during the second round draw of the Tylenol Players Championship curling event at Mile One Centre Thursday in St. Johns. Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Jennifer Jones walked a tightrope with Heather Strong for the second time in less than two months yesterday, and just as she did at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in February, the reigning Canadian and world champ skirted a freefall to squeeze out a win against the St. John's skip.

Knocked out

Jones 7-6 victory Thursday afternoon knocked Strong from the Tylenol Players Championship. Strong, Cathy Cunningham, Laura Strong and Peg Goss finished at 0-3.

"A couple of execution errors killed us," Strong said afterwards.

Trailing 4-2 after three ends, Jones got one in the fourth and then stole a pair of points in each of the fifth and sixth ends. Strong managed one in the seventh and appeared to have sent the game into an extra end with a steal of two in the eighth.

However, a measurement indicated one of Jones rocks were closer to the button than Strong's leaving the Newfoundlanders counting only one.

"We caught Jen missing a couple of shots, but when they missed, we tended to follow up with a miss of our own," Strong said. "We had our opportunities to win, but didn't seal the deal."

At the Scotties, Strong led Jones 7-5 in the 10th end of their round-robin game. But Newfoundland ran into time clock trouble, leaving Strong scrambling to make her last shot which was heavy. Jones, holding hammer, had an easy takeout for a game-ending three-ender.

"When teams like that make a mistake, absolutely, you have to jump on them," Strong said.

"I thought there were more uncharacteristic misses by them today and we needed to take an extra second and make sure we followed up with a make of our own.

"We let them off the hook a little bit."

Early exit from the Players aside, Strong was satisfied with the new-look team's 2007-08 season.

The group finished 7-4 at the Scotties, losing a tie-breaker to - you guessed it - Jones.

On the World Curling Tour, the foursome registered a semifinal placing at a Saskatoon, Sask. event and reached the quarters in an Edmonton bonspiel.

"This was our first year as a team and on paper, we knew we were good curlers but we had no idea whether we'd gel," she said. "

We had a lot of fun through the season which is another measure of success that needs to be factored in. You spend so much time together, you have to enjoy each other's company.

"We won a lot of cash this year. Top 16 in Canada, nothing wrong with that."

Prior to their uniting this year, teams skipped by either Strong or Cunningham had won 10 straight provincial women's championships.

Despite the obvious connections - Heather and Laura are sisters and Cunningham and Goss are first cousins, "but they're like sisters" - there was no "us" and "them," on the team.

"We had to work hard at that. We were aware that was a possibility," Strong said.

"We formed this team in April of last year and through the summer that was the major focus, getting it out of two partners and getting it to four team players.

"We're always aware of that, and making an extra effort to car pool differently ... certain things like that.

"It worked well."

rshort@thetelegram.com

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Organizations: World Curling Tour

Geographic location: St. John's, Newfoundland, Saskatoon Sask. Edmonton Canada

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Recent comments

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Strong & Co. running intp clock trouble again and forced to make a quick shot.

    Sound familiar?

    Didn't this also happen at the Scotties this year and they blew a winning shot?

  • At the Game
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Were you even there? There was more than enough time on the clock for Heather to make her last shot ... and she did ...

  • Mount Pearl
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    You've misread the story, Jim; + rushed your typing and mispelled into . Team Rodrigues Winery placed the last rock perfectly in the game yesterday at Mile One Stadium. Team Jones was left with 3 difficult choices. Jill Officer won the game by brushing hard early and got enough of the 4-foot to win the measure. Had she not swept early, the risk was overcurl could have tapped up a third NL rock for a steal of 3 and a loss for Team Jones. You be proud of the great year of rocks Team Rodrigues Winery.

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Strong & Co. running intp clock trouble again and forced to make a quick shot.

    Sound familiar?

    Didn't this also happen at the Scotties this year and they blew a winning shot?

  • At the Game
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Were you even there? There was more than enough time on the clock for Heather to make her last shot ... and she did ...

  • Mount Pearl
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    You've misread the story, Jim; + rushed your typing and mispelled into . Team Rodrigues Winery placed the last rock perfectly in the game yesterday at Mile One Stadium. Team Jones was left with 3 difficult choices. Jill Officer won the game by brushing hard early and got enough of the 4-foot to win the measure. Had she not swept early, the risk was overcurl could have tapped up a third NL rock for a steal of 3 and a loss for Team Jones. You be proud of the great year of rocks Team Rodrigues Winery.