The 25th Shetland Ladies Squash Open consisted of a fast-paced, 10-match round robin, which saw only the third name on the trophy and the youngest ever winner“ Hannah Garrick.
The first match saw number one seed Belle Spence play number five seed Leanne Jamieson. After a tight start Belle won serve at 2-1, adjusting well to Leanne’s stronger style of play to race away to an 8-1 lead. Leanne saved the game point but was unable to save the game as it finished 9-2. Belle had then found a style of play that suited her and raced away to win the next game 9-1 and the match.
Next up was Hannah Garrick and Csenge Hortobagyi. Csenge found it difficult to keep with Hannah’s pace in the first game and after 19 long rallies Hannah closed out the game 9-1.
Csenge responded well and came back in the next game with some powerful squash of her own to take a 3-1 lead which Hannah managed to claw back to 3-3, only for Csenge to race ahead again to 7-4. Hannah rallied well to win the match 9-7.
Csenge had the misfortune of having the hardest first two matches. Her next opponent, Belle, raced to a 6-0 lead but Csenge got her eye back and turned the game on its head with game point on 8-6. Belle saved the game point and managed to fight back, winning 10-8 on the 32nd rally.
Csenge’s pace was taking its toll on Belle as she fought her way to a 5-1 lead, which Belle was not able to recover as the game finished 9-4. The third game was another 32-rally affair with Csenge’s early 3-0 lead being overturned for Belle to eventually win it 9-6.
Leanne and Alison Bain had the longest game of the tournament with 33 rallies and after some deep driving by both players Leanne’s tight drives saw her nudge ahead to win 9-7. Alison was slower to start in the second game, going down 6-1 then 8-2. She rallied well to get back to 8-6 but Leanne kept her composure to close out the match 9-6.
Alison started well against Belle and managed to hold her for the first 13 rallies to 2-0. Belle then adjusted to Alison’s serve, closing out the match 9-0, 9-2.
The two junior inter-county players were next up and Hannah kept her composure from her earlier match and closed out the match 9-3, 9-1.
Csenge and Leanne provided the strangest match of the evening. Leanne raced to a 6-0 lead and looked like she had the game sewn up but Csenge won back serve, played a good service game to win the game 9-6 and then took the match 9-1.
Csenge kept her form from the last game flowing as she won her next game against Alison 9-1. Alison’s three months out with injury were showing as she valiantly tried to fight back in the last, losing 9-3. She found it hard to keep up the pace in her last match as Hannah won it in two games.
The final between the number one and two seeds Belle and Hannah was played over the best of five games and Hannah continued her high level of concentration and fast play to win the first game 9-1.
Belle fought back in the second, taking a 5-1 lead followed by a 8-2 lead but Hannah fought back to 8-8. Belle regained her composure with some fine lob shots to win 10-8.
The next game was even longer with 25 rallies. Hannah was 5-4 down but managed to break away, winning 9-5.
Hannah kept this role going in the fourth to gain a 3-1 lead but Belle fought back to 3-3 and then 7-5. But she was unable to catch Hannah as she won the championship 9-5.