McDonald tops Einarson to reach Manitoba final

Kristy McDonald made a nice takeout with her last shot in the 8th end to score four and grab the lead against Kerri Einarson.

Kristy McDonald made a clutch shot to reach the button with her last in the 10th end to secure a 7-5 victory Saturday over Kerri Einarson and earn a spot in the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts final in Beausejour.

The Winnipeg-based team of McDonald, third Kate Cameron, second Leslie Wilson-Westcott and lead Raunora Westcott posted a 6-1 record in the round robin, sustaining their lone loss to Joelle Brown during the final preliminary draw in the morning.

Einarson, who has finished runner-up at the past two Manitoba Scotties, still has a shot at the final as she will face Shannon Birchard in Sunday morning’s semifinal.

Her team, also from Winnipeg, featuring third Selena Kaatz, second Liz Fyfe, and lead Kristin MacCuish dropped their round robin opener to Cheryl Reed but bounced back strong winning six straight to reach the 1 vs. 1 page playoff.

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McDonald opened the 1 vs. 1 game with the hammer and had a chance to make a double for a deuce in the first but couldn’t get both counters to move far enough and only scored a single.

Einarson blanked three consecutive ends and her patience paid off in the fifth end. After McDonald’s first skip stone picked, she needed to make a double takeout with her second. One of Einarson’s rocks hung on for a piece of the rings and she capitalized with a hit and stick to score three to take the lead 3-1.

The rinks alternated singles through the sixth and seventh ends and the momentum shift to McDonald’s favour in the eighth as she got back on track with an amazing shot to score four and pull ahead 6-4.

Einarson had shot stone and needed her last to stay in the eight-foot circle to get a deuce in nine but it slid heavy and she only counted the one. A final freeze in the 10th by Einarson for shot forced McDonald to make a difficult draw but she wedged her shot into the button to solidify the victory.

Meanwhile, Birchard defeated five-time Canadian champion Cathy Overton-Clapham 7-3 in another all-Winnipeg rink match in the 2 vs. 2 game.

Birchard scored a deuce in the fourth to break a 1-1 tie and stole one in five to go up by three. The teams alternated singles through six and seven.

Overton-Clapham looked to score a deuce in eight but hit and rolled out to only count one. Birchard picked up two more points in nine to cushion her lead and Overton-Clapham ran out of rocks in the final end.

Both Birchard and Overton-Clapham also finished the round robin with 6-1 records.

Watch the semifinal between Einarson and Birchard live Sunday on Sportsnet West & Pacific at 10 a.m. ET / 9 a.m. CT with the final set for 2:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. CT on Sportsnet West.

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