Kelly Byfield becomes 3-Times Ladies Champ

22 January 2024 22:45:00 Posted By Luton
Last Updated: 22 January 2024 23:56:00

Group A

Group A saw six ladies facing off, with two former double champions in the group, with reigning 2022 and 2023 champion Laura Hunter alongside 1998 and 2002 champion Kelly Byfield. The group was completed with 4-time runner-up Sue Latham, alongside Keira Fitzsimmons, Phiona Musavengana and Tracy Playford.

Laura won the group with four wins and one defeat. She won two 3-0's against Sue and Keira, had 2-1 wins against Kelly and Tracy, and fell to a 2-1 defeat to Phiona.

There was a whole host of players fighting for second, with team mates Kelly and Keira finishing joint second, and Kelly getting the spot due to her 2-1 against Keira in the opening match.

Phiona started brilliantly with three 2-1 wins against Tracy, Sue and Laura, before two defeats saw her qualify in 4th place.

Group A Table

Player
P
W
D
L
F
A
+/-
Form
Pts

5
4
0
1
11
4
+7
19

5
3
0
2
8
7
+1
14

5
3
0
2
8
7
+1
14

5
3
0
2
7
8
-1
13

5
2
0
3
7
8
-1
11

5
0
0
5
4
11
-7
4

Group B

Group B also saw two former champions drawn out in the same group with 2019 champ Zenya Heap and 2020 Amber Carter being joined by Nicola Court, Vicky Friston and Nicky Miller.

Zenya saw perfect passage through to the quarter finals with four wins, claiming 3-0 wins against Amber and Nicky, then following those up with 2-1 wins against Vicky and Nicola.

Second place went to Amber, after recovering from an opening 3-0 defeat by winning her next three matches to progress.

Nicola opened with two 2-1 victories, before narrowly losing the final two to finish in third place.

And Vicky's opening 3-0 win over Nicky saw her get the 4th qualification spot.

Group B Table

Player
P
W
D
L
F
A
+/-
Form
Pts

4
4
0
0
10
2
+8
18

4
3
0
1
7
5
+2
13

4
2
0
2
6
6
0
10

4
1
0
3
5
7
-2
7

4
0
0
4
2
10
-8
2

Quarter Finals

Group A winner Laura won her quarter final 3-1 against Vicky, but Group B winner Zenya fell to a 3-2 against Phiona.

The other two quarters both saw the higher finishers claiming the win, with Kelly winning 3-1 against Nicola, and Amber claiming a convincing 3-0 win over Keira.

Semi Finals

The first semi final saw two former champions face off in a classic. Laura took the first frame, before Amber won the next two frames to take a 2-1 lead. Two frames for Laura saw her regain the lead, but Amber won to take it to a decider, which was decided when Laura played a great cross double on her final colour before potting the black for the 4-3 win.

The other semi saw Kelly fly into a 3-0 lead in what looked like it was going to be a one-sided match. But Phiona dug in, and pulled it back to 3-2 after winning two close frames, to make a match of it. But the comeback was ended in the sixth frame, as Kelly won to claim the 4-2 win and reach her first final since 2002.

The Final - Kelly Byfield 5-3 Laura Hunter

Nerves were apparent in a very tight opening frame, which was eventually won by reigning champion Laura, but the lead was soon wiped out as Kelly Byfield won a quick second frame to level the match up. Laura soon regained her lead at 2-1, but a great cross double on the final red set up Kelly Byfield to pot the black for 2-2. Laura then got herself ahead for the third time in the final at 3-2, but Kelly Byfield then won again to level the tie up at 3-3. The 7th frame could have gone either way, with both players missing chances to win the frame, but the frame was eventually taken by Kelly Byfield to give her her first lead of the Final. And despite missing the chance to win the final in style with a great double on the black which narrowly missed, Kelly Byfield got another chance soon after, which she took with a fine cut to the middle to claim the 5-3 win, and become champion for the third time in her career.

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