We have a national champion in the club again!! Well done to Shinan who won the doubles competition this weekend and also got to the semi final in the singles. Those of you who were in Edinburgh will know just how strong women’s fives is becoming. Below is a report from Bob Dolby….
We have a new National Ladies Singles champion -- Louise Mathias-- and new Ladies Doubles champions -- Louise Mathias & Shinan Zhang.
The venue and the 2-day format were a great success and the standard of play in the whole event, with its 25 contestants, was undoubtedly the highest we have ever had. I cannot imagine we have ever seen a Singles final of the quality that Kathleen Briedenhann and Louise produced (look at the scores), where point after point was gained by either a winning shot or a forced error. The effort put in by both players was enormous (Kathleen's fitbit tells her she ran four and a half kilometers). Kathleen was so gracious in defeat and Louise was, at least momentarily, in disbelief. One Doubles semi-final involving the defending champions (who lost) was more than worthy of the final, but the three-game final itself was extraordinary: it was often scrappy, with countless lets and comings-together, but it was utterly compelling and left the schoolgirls from Edinburgh Academy and Bedford Modern, who watched from start to finish, in some degree of wonder and the rest of us deep in admiration.
Both Plate finals were remarkable too: Dominique Redmond's considerable experience and powers of anticipation against Zara Elliot's weight of shot, athleticism and spirit produced a marvellous match in the Singles, and in the Doubles Dominique and Martha Nugent took the title in a tight game which Katie & Maddie could just as easily have won had the odd rally gone their way in the final stages.
So much more I could say!
Semi-finals: Kathleen Briedenhann (1) bt Shinan Zhang (4) 11-8, 11-7; Louise Mathias (3) bt Tessa Mills (2) 11-8, 11-4
Final: Louise Mathias bt Kathleen Briedenhann 15-8, 7-15, 15-10
Plate: Dominique Redmond bt Zara Elliot 11-1, 7-11, 11-9
Semi-finals:Kathleen Briedenahnn & Tessa Mills bt Ibby Lee & Anna Laakkonen 11-0, 11-2 [Ibby was injured] ; Louise Mathias & Shinan Zhang bt Alexandra Steel & Maddy Raynor 11-8, 3-11, 11-7
Final: Mathias & Zhang bt Briedenhann & Mills 15-8, 6-15, 15-11
Plate: Dominique Redmond & Martha Nugent bt Katie Sumner & Maddie Kent 15-9