Eight In A Row For Hird & Cooley

02/11/20: Karen Hird & Charlotta Cooley extended their run of Ladies Championships in association with Advanta Wealth victories to eight in a row at Eton on Saturday with a four game win over Ashley Lumbard & Emily Scoones.

K.Hird & C.Cooley beat A.Lumbard & E.Scoones 3-1 (5-12, 12-5, 12-5, 14-13)

Watch the final here: GAME ONE     GAME TWO     GAME THREE     GAME FOUR

It may have been over six months later than usual, but the 2020 ladies championships final was well worth waiting for. These two pairs have now met in the final for four consecutive years, and although Karen & Charlotta have won each time, victory has never looked like a formality and once again they were tested almost to the limit as the challengers came within one point of taking the match to a deciding fifth game.

Ashley & Emily had their own narrow escape the week before, of course, with a nailbiting 14-13 fifth game win in their semi-final against Dominique Redmond & Elana Osen. This experience almost certainly helped them at the start of the final, as after a cagey opening, they hit top gear first with Ashley in superb form throughout the first game and Emily hitting a purple patch that took them from 6-5 to 12-5 in no time at all. With confidence buoyed by their success in the first game and the more recent competitive miles in their legs, Ashley & Emily looked to be in a strong position to push on towards their first title; you don't win seven finals in a row without being a formidable pairing, however, and Karen & Charlotta began to wrest the momentum back in game two. Sustaining the heights of game one was always going to be a tough ask for Ashley & Emily and it only took a slight dip in form for their opponents to take advantage and begin to impose their own game on proceedings. 

Charlotta & Karen began to take control, winning the set piece battle, controlling the majority of rallies on top step and finding their volley length into the buttress. The second and third games went their way, both to 5, and the fourth could easily have gone the same way. It is greatly to Ashley & Emily's credit that it didn't, however, and they showed all of the resilience that got them through their semi-final to get themselves back in the match and produce a fourth game that was the best, closest and most exciting passage of play in the whole match. Twice Karen & Charlotta got to gameball and match point first, at both 11 and 13, and twice Ashley & Emily managed to first hold them there and then come back to level things up. For the third time in their last six games, Ashley & Emily found themselves at 13-13, but this time the final point didn't go their way and the champions made it over the line, relieved to avoid a fifth game and delighted to retain their trophy.

This was a splendid match, with all four players displaying high levels of skill and sportsmanship under pressure and it is a rivalry that should hopefully continue to produce exciting matches in years to come, with the onus on some of the up and coming pairs and players in the women's game to get themselves up to a level where they can begin to challenge the current hegemony.

This win continues to move Karen & Charlotta up the all time lists; they still have a little way to go to challenge the individual records set by Kerry White and Karen Hoskins, but their eighth win in a row as a pair moves them ahead of Kerry & Dom Redmond's seven in a row together and within one of the record of nine held by Karen & Lynn Parker.

Our thanks got to Bill Norton, Sherisa Gumbs, Ryan Perrie and everyone at Eton for their assistance in getting this match played and this tournament completed and to Advanta Wealth for their sponsorshop of the event.

 

Most Ladies Final Wins

12 Kerry White

11 Karen Hoskins (Runnacles)

9 Charlotta Cooley

9 Lynn Parker (née Wootten)

8 Karen Hird

8 Dominique Redmond

4 Erica Tadman

4 Krystyna Vargas

 

Most Consecutive Ladies Final Wins

11 Karen Hoskins (Runnacles)

9 Lynn Parker (née Wootten)

8 Charlotta Cooley

8 Karen Hird

7 Dominique Redmond

7 Kerry White

5 Kerry White

 

Most Consecutive Ladies Final Wins as a Pair

9 Karen Hoskins (Runnacles) & Lynn Parker (née Wootten)

8 Karen Hird & Charlotta Cooley

7 Kerry White & Dominique Redmond

3 Kerry White & Erica Tadman

 

Most Ladies Final Appearances

17 Charlotta Cooley

13 Kerry White

12 Karen Hoskins (Runnacles)

10 Dominique Redmond

10 Lynn Parker (née Wootten)

8 Marianne Catmull (née Rees)

8 Karen Hird

6 Krystyna Vargas

5 Fiona Barnes (née Mitchell)

5 Erica Tadman

4 Teresa Dunbar

4 Anita Ganguly

4 Ashley Lumbard

4 Emily Scoones

 

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