Paula Judge won her first Republic of Ireland Ladies Snooker Association ranking event of the new season at Sharkx Newbridge last Saturday with a close 2-1 victory over Cathy Dunne in the final.
Dunne, who won the Griffith Cup in September, took the first frame and had a good chance to win the second but Judge came back well to level and force a decider.
The third and final frame saw Dunne once again go into an early lead, before Dublin’s Judge responded to reach the snookers required stage.
After a bout of tactical exchanges, RILSA national champion Judge potted yellow to blue to take the frame and capture the title.
On her way to the final, Judge produced 2-0 triumphs over Clodagh Walsh (Carlow) in the last 16, Irish number three Christine Carr (Kildare) in the quarter-finals, and again in a close match against Irish number two Sandra Bryan (Wexford) in the semis.
Dunne, meanwhile, was also in great form in her half of the draw with a strong 2-0 defeat of Emirjeta Doda (Dublin) in the last 16.
A tight match against Michelle O’Boyle (Kildare) ended 2-1 in the last eight, before the Dubliner produced a great display to overcome Annette Newman at the penultimate hurdle with several well-constructed contributions.
With the glory, Judge now moves into an all-time high of fifth place on the provisional rankings while Dunne rises into third spot.
With the points becoming nearer after each event between the top players, it’s going to be very interesting to see the progress and play during the remaining three ranking tournaments of the season.