HHTC Ladies Handicap Singles - The Goldblatt Cup 2023
Our last tournament of the season was the Goldblatt Cup Ladies Handicap Singles and we had 6 ladies competing this season including one new entrant in Elle Curzon Green, who having been playing for a little while, is a relatively new member to Hatfield. Elle had a tough start against a previous winner Ros Emrys-Roberts but hit the ground running with an impressive 5/3 win. Things got tougher though with back to back losses against both Ciara and Sarah Sullivan and it looked like she might not make it through to the final but Elle finished off with 2 very impressive 5/0 wins, giving away sizeable handicaps in her last 2 matches, keeping her in the hunt for a place in the final.
One player who relatively coasted her way to the final was Ciara Sullivan. Ciara won all her group matches, although 3 of the 5 were ended on the buzzer, which showed they were all hard work but her consistency and ability to play the big points well moved her into the final in ominous fashion.
It looked for a while like it could be an all Sullivan final as Sarah started well but a bit of a drubbing at the hands of Lis Hughes 5/0 meant she had to beat Ciara to be confident of making the final and Ciara was in no mood to help her mum out, ending up a 4/
2 winner having been 2/0 down at the start. This meant that it went on games count back and those 5/0 wins for Elle meant that she would be taking on Ciara in the final.
The 2 finalists had only done battle the day before in the first round of the Swiss Singles with Elle coming out on top there in a tight 2 set match and with Ciara winning their group stage match it really was anyone's match to win and so it proved. There was never more than 2 games in it throughout the final, with both players taking the lead at different stages and it came down to the almost inevitable 4/4 in a first to 5 set. It was Elle who eventually came out on top in the final game, just proving a tiny bit more consistent in the end but there was some excellent shots and rallies from the 2 young players and both would have been deserving winners in the first of what will hopefully be many battles between the two very talented young ladies.