2005 Ladies Championships

Dominique Redmond reports:

This year's tournament was played on the Sunday of the Kinnaird weekend. Twenty ladies took part, with many established and experienced players competing alongside many new faces too, representing the whole range of ages from school level into the adult game. The level of play was very high, and the atmosphere was superb, since the event benefited directly from the facilities that had been laid on for the Kinnaird.

Pool stages

The format for this year's tournament was two pools with five pairs in each. All matches were to be one game to twelve points. All pairs were to play one another with the top two scoring pairs going on to play the same day. There was some particularly impressive play from the very experienced pair of Helen Toop and Marianne Rees. Helen's back court play combined with Marianne's fast reactions on step produced a pairing that was clearly going to be very difficult to beat. There was also excellent play from several pairs from St.Olave's Grammar school who have only been playing for a year but who already demonstrate a high level of back and top court play. A big congratulation to Rosie Blake, who partnered Fiona Barnes having only played for the past four months at Shrewsbury's Monday Club. Rosie played really well and we all hope that she carries on!

Semi-Finals

After a long day of fives the semi-finals were played � best of 3 games - with Fiona Barnes and Rosie Blake playing Dominique Redmond and Kerry White. It was a competitive game, but Kerry and Dominique were just too strong. In the other semi-final there was a titanic battle between Charlotta Cooley with Anita Ganguly against Helen and Marianne Rees, which ran to the final game. The two pairs were inseparable with impressive all-round play by all four ladies. Charlotta and Anita eventually came out on top!

D.Redmond & K.White beat F.Barnes & R.Blake 2-0

A.Ganguly & C.Cooley beat H.Toop & M.Rees 2-1

Final

The final was played at Westway on the morning of the Kinnaird semi-final, playing a best of five game match. Dominique Redmond and Kerry White were clearly confident that they stood a good chance against the defending champions. Indeed, it was clear from the start that this was going to be a very competitive contest of the highest level. Each game was very close with punishing long rallies. All the players had to work hard in order in clock up the points. There was brilliant play from all four players - Dominique with her cut returns and outstanding defence of the buttress; Kerry with superb cutting ; the brilliant agressive back court play by Charlotta and Anita demonstrating superb volleying on top step and retrieving from the buttress. Over all, it was perhaps the slightly stronger set-piece of cutting and cut-returns on the day that enabled Kerry and Dominique to pull through to victory. It was a superb match to watch, and the spectators commented that it was too good a match to be concluded in three straight games!!

K.White & D.Redmond beat C.Cooley & A.Ganguly 14-12, 12-6, 14-13

Well done to all who took part; hopefully we will see you all again next year for the title race and for an even better and stronger ladies competition.