Finals

Paula Judge Wins RILSA Irish National Championship

Paula Judge beat Cathy Dunne 3-0 to capture the RILSA National Championship at the weekend in Sharkx, Newbridge.

Paula Judge RILSA champion (PJ)

Judge with the trophy!

While Michelle Sherwin was capturing her record 14th RIBSA ladies national title in Carlow, Judge took top honours in the separate national women’s association.

By all accounts, the Republic of Ireland Ladies Snooker Association tournament seems to have been an excellently run affair, with 32 players featuring at the Finals weekend in County Kildare.

The top 16 in the rankings automatically qualified while 62 further competitors battled it out for the remaining spots.

Judge, who earlier this year represented Ireland at the World Women’s Championship in Singapore and subsequently shared her thoughts on the experience on SnookerHQ, overcame Margaret Browne and Annette Newman before whitewashing fellow Dubliner Dunne in the final showdown.

“I played the legend that is Cathy Dunne in the final and came through a three-nil winner, but not without a fight,” said Judge, who will rise to number one in the provisional RILSA rankings.

“I’ve got to say a huge thanks to Dan Carroll as we had a 32-strong Championship run over two days.”

“I was amazed to see how many girls are playing the game and it’s a huge start.”

RILSA participation numbers have been increasing since the association was reformed three years ago.

Chairman Dan Carroll said: “We now have over 300 schools and Youth Reach has joined in support.”

“There are 120 snooker tables in place in over 80 of our member schools and Youth Reach centres across Ireland.”

“20,000 children have direct access to snooker because of our initiatives and, such was the success of our association to date, we had to facilitate a number of qualifying events to cater for the entries for this year’s National Championship.”

The ever-improving Judge, meanwhile, is already looking ahead to the next tournament in August while also setting her sights on the IBSF World Amateur Championship in Malta at the end of the year.

RILSA National Championship Results

Quarter-Finals

Annette Newman (Carlow) 2 Aine Brennan (Carlow) 1
Paula Judge (Dublin) 2 Margaret Browne (Meath) 0
Sandra Bryan (Wexford) 2 Tina Keogh (Laois) 0
Cathy Dunne (Dublin) 2 Emirjeta Doda (Dublin) 0

Semi-Finals

Paula Judge 2 Annette Newman 0
Cathy Dunne 2 Sandra Bryan 1

Final

Paula Judge 3 Cathy Dunne 0

Provisional Top 16 players (True national rankings in brackets)

1. Paula Judge – Dublin(6)
2. Cathy Dunne – Dublin(11)
3. Sandra Bryan – Wexford(2)
4. Annette Newman – Carlow(1)
5. Margaret Browne – Meath (5)
6. Emirjeta Doda – Dublin(7)
7. Aine Brennan – Carlow(49)
8. Tina Keogh – Laois(8)
9. Christine Carr – Kildare(3)
10. Susan Hanlon – Dublin(20)
11. Suzanne Randle – Kilkenny (-)
12. Valerie Maloney – Offaly(9)
13. Michelle O’Boyle – Kildare(66)
14. Grace Byrne – Carlow(12)
15. Rachel Bradley – Kildare(29)
16. Katie French – Kildare(40)

Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.