The 44-year-old Sarnian civil servant, playing in her fifth final and first since lifting the trophy in 2011, fell behind in both sets and despite drawing level in both halves of the match, glory just alluded her as Forrest edged her out and claimed a first-ever success in the tournament.
‘It didn’t matter where I put the jack, she was on it,’ said a gallant Merrien afterwards.
‘I had to find something to change the game and I went long and she stopped getting it, but then started getting it again not too long afterwards.
‘It was just one of those days, she was just awesome.
‘I was hoping to get a tie-break because anything can happen, but it wasn’t to be and she is a worthy winner. She’s a good friend of mine and we had lots of fun out there.
‘I am pleased with my game.’
Merrien lost the first four ends as she got off to a poor start and after six ends was 5-2 down, with that deficit being stretched into to 3-7, but she hit back with a full house to level the match on the 10th end and it was now game on.
Dropping a four at this time of the first set could have knocked the confidence out of Forrest, but she regrouped and pinched a single to claim the first-half honours.
Just like the first set, Forrest took the first four ends of the second to look poised for a comfortable win, but Merrien hit back with her second full house of the match to bring her right back into it and it all went down the final end again, with Forrest needing to produce something special with her final delivery to claim a first-ever win in the tournament.
Taking her time, she opted to go for broke and got the result she wanted and celebrated by leaping down the rink and punching the air in delight, with Merrien thinking what might have been.