By Dan Carroll
The 40th RILSA National Championship title was retained by Paula Judge from Dublin in a great contest against Cathy Dunne last week in County Kildare.
The Republic of Ireland Ladies Snooker Association is celebrating their 40th National Championship in 2018 and the celebrations started with the National Championship at Sharkx Newbridge, who are sponsoringthe 2018-2019 RILSA Tour season.
The new Cup supplied by Alison McDonnell of Dublin Trophies and sponsored by Dan Carroll & Annette Newman was up for grabs at the weekend as the 2018 Championship got underway at Sharkx.
This two-day event was a fantastic success once again for RILSA and women’s cue sports here in Ireland as 86 women & girls entered the qualification events prior to the Championship weekend, a new record for RILSA.
In the last 16, Irish number one Annette Newman from Carlow got off to a good start with a 2-0 win over Katie French from Kildare.
Megan Randle from Kilkenny overcame Irish number 16 Valerie Maloney from Offaly in a very close battle to win through to her first quarter-final with two black ball finishes.
Current champion Paula Judge was in fine form against Megan’s twin sister Carrie and won comfortably 2-0.
The 2016 national champion, Danielle Randle played great snooker against Christine Carr from Kildare to win through to the quarters with a 2-0 result.
Cathy Dunne saw off a good fight from Michelle O’Boyle from Kildare to reach the quarters 2-0 and Tina Keogh from Laois had a tough match against Emirjeta Doda from Dublin with Emirjeta taking the lead and Tina coming back to level the match at 1-1.
Emirjeta started the decider well but Tina played strong towards the end to take the frame and match for a place in the quarters. v
Suzanne Randle played her best snooker ever to overcome great play from Rachel Bradley from Kildare to win 2-1, while Susan Hanlon from Dublin was in fine form against Rosie Young from Laois to advance to the last eight with a 2-0 success.
In the quarters, Newman played well and went on to beat Megan Randle to send her into day two of the Championship. Judge
again was playing well against the 2016 champion Danielle Randle and won her match to meet Annette in the semis.
Meanwhile, Dunne played great against Tina Keogh to advance to the semis while Susan Hanlon had a match on her hands against Suzanne Randle.
Suzanne took the first frame on the pink and Susan was looking good to level, however Suzanne potted a good black to send her through to her first ever RILSA Championship semi-final.
As day one came to a close, some great matches were played and the Randle family made up of Mam Suzanne, twin daughters Megan & Carrie, along with Danielle all showed talent and great interest in snooker.
Day two was to be another great day at Sharkx Newbridge as the ladies got their matches underway.
The first semi-final encounter saw Annette start well against Paula, however Paula went up a gear as the match progressed with some great potting to win the match 3-0 for a place in the final.
Suzanne played good snooker in the first frame against Cathy keeping close on points all the way but it was won by Cathy and the latter proceeded to reach the final to setup a rematch of the showdown from last year.
In the final, Paula finished the first frame strongly to take it before her opponent levelled to make it one frame apiece.
Yet, Paula took the final two frames to secure the title of RILSA National Champion 2018 for the second time.
Congratulations to Paula on her win and to Cathy on her fine performance throughout the championship.
Congratulations to all our players who qualified for the championship and played great snooker over the weekend at Sharkx.
Thanks to Paul & Bernie of Sharkx for providing excellent facilities and it was fantastic to have all the tables recovered with number 10 professional cloths.
A special thanks to Jack, Robbie, and Fran for all their help over the weekend as roving referees along with refereeing the semis and final.