Something that I didn’t get a chance to report previously in August was Paula Judge’s recent triumph in the RILSA International Irish Open.
The Dubliner, who won the 2017 RILSA National Championship, continued her rise in the women’s game in Ireland with a 4-1 triumph over Annette Newman at Joey’s Snooker Club.
Judge had earlier emerged from her group to beat Louise Maher in the quarter-finals and Cathy Dunne in the last four.
Judge told SnookerHQ:” I’m delighted with the win as I played consistent throughout even though there was a slight bit of pressure on me being the one expected to win it.”
“I’m glad I was able to deal with it throughout and I did what I intended to do from the start so I’m now looking forward to the new season.”
Sister of former Main Tour professional Michael Judge, the 33 year-old is quickly becoming one of the best players in Ireland and represented her country at the World Women’s Championship in Singapore earlier this year.
Unfortunately, though, women’s snooker in Ireland suffers from a persistent divide between the Republic of Ireland Ladies Snooker Association (RILSA) and the Republic of Ireland Billiards and Snooker Association (RIBSA), which is the official national governing body for the sport.
RILSA has done admirably in recent times to promote women’s snooker, providing well-run tournaments with plenty of entries, highlighted by the fact there was a main event and an intermediate level tournament full of players at Joey’s two weekends ago.
RIBSA, on the other hand, has been struggling to attract the same number with only four women contesting their recent Ladies National Championship in May.
The unfortunate state of affairs is perhaps reflected in the entry list for the Paul Hunter Ladies Classic this week in Furth, where only Ronda Sheldreck from the RIBSA stable has been able to enter.
With World Ladies Billiards and Snooker bound to support the official national governing bodies of each nation, it seems that there’ll be a distinct lack of Irishwomen attempting to compete in world sanctioned tournaments – which is obviously a shame.
As there is evidently a high number of actively participating women in Ireland, hopefully some kind of improvement in relations between RIBSA and RILSA can materialise in the future to provide the most opportunities available to those looking to take part.