Lumbard & Scoones Through After Epic Encounter
26/10/20: The line-up for next weekend's Ladies Championships final was completed at Eton yesterday with second seeds Ashley Lumbard & Emily Scoones making it through by the skin of their teeth after a thrilling match against Dominique Redmond & Elana Osen.
If the first semi-final last weekend produced some good Fives but little tension in terms of the final result, yesterday's match went right to the wire, won 14-13 in the fifth and deciding game after three hours of play.
If Ashley & Emily had been hoping for a repeat of last season's regulation win against Dom and sister Lia, they were quickly disabused of that notion as Dom & Elana - resuming the partnership that got to the last four in 2018 - fired out of the blocks playing with pace, accuracy and intensity, deservedly winning the first game 12-8. Elana was playing at a level she had not previously reached and Dominique was showing the sort of form that won her this title eight times between 2005 and 2012.
For a while thereafter it seemed that normal service was being resumed as Ashley & Emily retook control in the second and third games; Dom & Elana were not quite able to match the high standards they had set in the first game and Ashley & Emily took full advantage to move into a 2-1 lead. A reasonably straightforward four game win then seemed on the cards as Ashley & Emily forged ahead in game four, establishing an 11-6 lead, just one point from a place in the final. An early chance to close out the match came and went and gradually Dom & Elana began to close the gap, aided by some faultless and nerveless gameball cutting. They pulled it back to 11-11, which then became 13-13 before the comeback was completed with a 14-13 win to take the game into a fifth and deciding game.
The twists and turns were far from over, though, as Dom & Elana used their momentum from their fourth game great escape to push out to an 8-2 lead. Back came Ashley & Emily and once again the score progressed to 11-11 and then 13-13. Both pairs continued to play well, knowing that one mistake would cost them the match, before eventually Ashley & Emily found the cut return and winning rally that had eluded them in the previous game for so long to clinch the vital point and take them through to their fourth successive final.
A.Lumbard & E.Scoones beat D.Redmond & E.Osen 3-2 (8-12, 12-5, 12-5, 13-14, 14-13)