The National Ladies U23 Championships
St Paul’s School; Saturday, 11th December 2022
STOP PRESS St Paul’s witnessed a superb Ladies U23 tournament this weekend, with players from all over the UK converging on London in possibly the strongest entry in this event’s short history. No less than 13 players took part in the Singles, and there were six pairs in the Doubles, all superbly organised by Ibby Lee.
The Singles championship was won in imperious fashion by National Schoolgirls U18 champion Camille Beattie from the City of Durham club, who conceded just 7 points on her way to the title. However, losing finalist Rosa Ogilvie had her revenge in the Doubles, teaming up with fellow Edinburgh Academy pupil Olivia Smart to record a win over Camille and Imogen Wright — albeit by the narrowest of margins: 16-15. This is the first time since the inception of the event in 2016 that both titles have been won by players of school age. And surely the first time in any championship where the two plates have been won by sisters!
More than anything, the tournament was a demonstration of the strength of the ladies game at the moment, with entries from past and present Oxford and Cambridge students, as well as girls from Durham and Edinburgh. The big question is how will this talented crop of youngsters fare in the Ladies Nationals, and we’ll find out the answer in Manchester next month.
Finally, we say goodbye to Ibby Lee, who has organised the event for the past two years with a delightfully light touch. Our thanks go to her, to the several family members and friends who came to support the players, to the teams from Edinburgh and Durham who made the long journey to participate, and of course to St Paul’s for their customary hospitality.