Jennifer Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer and Dawn Askin won the 2011 Players' Championship (Photo Credit: Anil Mungal).

Jennifer Jones defeats Rachel Homan to win 4th career Players’ Championship

April 16, 2011, 4:59 PM

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — Jennifer Jones scored three in the final end to lift her Winnipeg team to a 7-5 win over Ottawa’s Rachel Homan and claim the season-ending Players’ Championship title Saturday.

Jones fell in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts final earlier this year to Saskatchewan’s Amber Holland on the last shot of the game, but made no mistake this time around for her fourth career Players’ Championship.

The team of Jones, third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn Askin earned $25,000 plus a $50,000 bonus as the Capital One Cup winners.

“We weren’t playing very well actually in the first four ends, but we were only two down,” Jones told grandslamofcurling.com. “We know that we’re a good second-half team and we just needed to get our deuce. We got our deuce in five and it was a different game.”

Jones avoided an early disaster in the second stanza as Homan missed on a shot to score four. The 2010 world junior bronze medallist Homan still counted three for a 3-1 lead.

The teams alternated points through the third and fourth ends and Jones made it all square with a deuce in the fifth end.

Homan was held to another single in the sixth to regain the lead 5-4 with two ends to play. Jones blanked the seventh to retain the hammer coming home.

It was Lawes who set the table nailing an incredible quadruple takeout to sit two in the house. Homan made a freeze with her final shot and Jones popped it out to score three points and earn the victory.

“I don’t think you ever could expect a season like this for a brand-new team,” said Lawes, the two-time Canadian junior champion who joined Jones this season following the team’s split with longtime vice skip Cathy Overton-Clapham. “It’s honestly been so amazing. I think we wanted to have a year just to gel and get used to each other, but [this has] been a bit of a bonus.”

The Ottawa-based team of Homan, third Emma Miskew, second Alison Kreviazuk and lead Lisa Weagle cashed in $16,000 with their runner-up finish.

Homan was playing in her first career Grand Slam final and wrapped up her first full season on the women’s tour. Team Homan won the Ontario Scotties title and just missed the podium at nationals falling to Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith-Dacey in the bronze-medal match.

Jones finished the Players’ Championship with a perfect 6-0 record. She qualified through the A-side of the triple knockout tournament, thumped Winnipeg’s Chelsea Carey 9-2 in the quarterfinals and four-time world junior champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland 7-4 during the semis.

Homan took a slight detour through the B-side to qualify and defeated Calgary’s Shannon Kleibrink 8-5 and Edmonton’s Heather Nedohin 7-5 to reach the final.

CAPITAL ONE CUP: The Capital One Cup is awarded to the overall bonus points champion within the Grand Slam of Curling series with the top three teams earning additional cheques. Jones finished first, Carey came in second to take $25,000, and Nedohin pocketed an extra $10,000 for third place.

LAST CALL FOR OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALLISTS: It was an emotional quarterfinal exit for Cheryl Bernard and her Calgary-based team. The silver medallists a year ago at the Vancouver Winter Olympics played their final game together, a 5-4 loss to Nedohin. Bernard, who was born in Grande Prairie, and longtime third Susan O’Connor are sticking together next season with second Carolyn Darbyshire and lead Cori Morris moving on. Joining Bernard and O’Connor in the fall are Edmonton’s Lori Olson-Johns and Calgary’s Jennifer Sadleir.

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