Paula Judge from Dublin first came onto the snooker scene back in 1998 when she was the first girl to play in the Stars of the Future under 14’s & 15’s in Breaks Drumcondra, Dublin. Paula reached the quarters of both events that weekend and it certainly showed that she could compete with the boys.
Paula went on to compete in a number of RILSA rankings over the next few seasons with no results to her name, however in 2002 she reached her first final against the then 3 times RILSA National Champion, Ann McMahon and really showed that she could keep up with the top players, to just lose out 3-2 on that occasion. The girls knew that Paula had great prospects in the sport and that she will be a force to recon with in the years ahead.
After a number of years out of the sport, Paula came back to RILSA in 2016 where she met with immediate success winning the Stars Academy Masters Ranking event, with a 2-1 win over Cathy Dunne in the final.
2017 started well for Paula as she took the Kildare Open with a good 2-0 win over Irish number 1 Annette Newman from Carlow in the final. Again Paula reached the final of the Dublin Open but was to lose to Cathy Dunne on this occasion 2-1
Paula was to retain the Stars Academy Masters in 2017 with a good win over Cathy once again 2-1.
The pinnacle of her career to date was to take the RILSA National Championship title for the first time with an record 78 entries and again against Cathy Dunne in Newbridge (May 2017), a fantastic achievement for Paula. She made it to 6th spot on the National rankings last season, yet another achievement for her.
However it was not to stop there, Paula entered the Irish International Open in August 2017 hoping to do well. After a few close encounters in her group matches, she came out on top spot and into her first quarters of the International. She overcame a fight from Lousie Maher from Kilkenny winning 2-1 and again met her nemeses Cathy Dunne in the semis and again held firm to win 2-1 for a final place.
In the final Paula was up against a formidable opponent in Annette Newman from Carlow, with many years of experience in the sport. The match went 2-1 at the interval in favour of Paula and when the resumed, Paula went up a gear and won the two frames needed to win her first International Irish Open Championship.
Fantastic achievements for a player only back on the RILSA tour just over 1 year. Paula is currently 5th on the provisional rankings as we go to print and is certainly capable of number 1 spot in RILSA.
We are delighted to have Paula back on the tour and her hard work and many hours of practice is paying off. Paula has represented Ireland at European and International events and is moving up the WLBS rankings after a number of events over the past two seasons. Paula is very capable of a top 10 place on the World Women’s Rankings, it’s simply only a matter of time.
I’m sure that we will revisit Paula’s profile in a few years with many more successes to her name. Congratulations and well done to Paula on her success to date and we at RILSA wish her every success for the future and thank her for her participation and support.