Hilditch steals show with fine treble

Sarah Hilditch
Sarah Hilditch
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Sarah Hilditch served up a hat-trick of wins in the Portsmouth Closed Championship at Admiral Lord Nelson School.

Robin Plunkett, Paul May and Samuel Adie also netted doubles in the tournament.

But there was no doubt who was the star.

Hilditch beat Sandy Collier, Dagmar Wilkinson and Geraldine Morle with her tricky serves and strong hitting on both wings to win the women’s singles.

She then joined forces with Collier to breeze into the final of the women’s doubles, where they beat Geraldine Morle and Wilkinson 11-4, 11-4, 11-7.

Hilditch, who was once ranked inside the top 40 of the women’s national rankings, completed her treble with the mixed doubles crown after partnering Steve Bell to a 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 win over Morle and Ray Jarratt.

The event kicked off with the cadet singles, where Adie beat Thomas Poynter 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-5.

May got his day off the mark in the veterans event, beating fellow pool winners Michael Cooksley 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 and Ricky Hensman 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 in the final round-robin group.

Adie doubled up with glory in the junior singles – beating Dylan Linsell 9-11, 11-8, 3-11, 14-12, 11-9 in a thrilling final.

Billy Blades and Kane Beale won the junior doubles.

Linsell beat Pete Grubb 18-16, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 in the final of the Peter Goldring Cup – for non division-one players.

In the blue riband event, Plunkett fought back from a slow start to beat Vincent Cheung 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7.

The consolation singles was won by Bell.

In the men’s doubles, Plunkett and Dave Woodacre beat Cheung and Cooksley 11-9, 11-5, 11-7.

May then ended the day in style by beating Hilditch 11-22, 22-12, 22-7 – having had a three-point start – in the handicap singles.

The tournament was superbly organised by Steve and Linda Long.