By Bob Maison
It was a very successful weekend for Cambs players at the National
Championships in Nottingham 14-22February.
Excellent performances from Tony Gay and James Powley where somewhat overshadowed by those of the girls in the shape of Reka Gay, Sarah Howlett and Kate Bradshaw.
Whilst the entry in the men’s events can be quite large, the women’s events usually attract a smaller field where it’s rare to find a player who hasn’t got International experience at either junior or senior level. And so, it proved with Sarah losing in the o55 to eventual winner Mandy Akin but then going on to win the Plate Competition.
Similarly, Reka had a tough draw losing to finalist Natalie Hudson. To be fair Reka should probably not even been on court, having got out of a sick bed to go and play but then confounded everyone by going on and winning the plate competition with 2 matches with only 90mins break in between.
But the standout has to be Kate Bradshaw who beat the reining National champion, Nicky Green in her semi-final only to have current World and European Champion and former top20 PSA player Lauren Briggs in the final – definitely a match too far.
The Nationals completed a season long tour of regional events where ranking points are up for grabs leading towards potential selection for the Home International competitions held during April and May.
Reka and Kate will be playing for England in the 035/40 team, with Kate being England Captain this year- quite an honour. And Sarah was selected for the 055 team. However, with an appropriate birthday falling just at the right time she has been poached by the newly formed 060 team to make an incredibly strong squad, clearly intent on wining the inaugural championship.
This means that all 3 will be in Galway during the same weekend with only Tony to keep them in order once the excessive “re-hydration” commences! It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!!
Congratulations to all these players and particularly the girls for their National selection.
Bob M (very proud Coach) 210220