Kate Bradshaw made England over-35s squash captain for Home Internationals tournament after National Squash Championships display
Kate Bradshaw was pipped at the last after a personal best run at the National Squash Championships in Nottingham.
The Melbourn player was one of more than 100 of the UK’s top over-35 squash players taking part, and reached the final for the first time.
She beat Durham and Cleveland’s Joanne Hilton 3-1 in the first round, and then faced former England junior star and defending champion Nicky Green.
The Norfolk player made a good start, but it came down to holding nerve and not making mistakes.
Bradshaw’s on-court speed made a difference as they went to a fifth and deciding game, which the Melbourn player won 11-3.
She faced former World Tour professional Lauren Briggs in the final, but her opponent was too strong in a 3-0 win.
“Getting in a position to play Lauren is always a goal for these tournaments,” said Bradshaw.
“She’s a class above the rest and so enjoyable to play.
“I was just delighted to get through my crunch match in the semi-final as Nicky is such a talented player with massive ability to disrupt your game.
“I’ve been working hard on movement and tactics with my coach Bob Maison from Cambridge Squash Club, and also on my physical conditioning with my personal trainer, Richard Lowden, based at the Heath in Royston.
“This teamed with some sports psychology work that I did last year with Helen Davis from Think Believe Perform has enabled me to get through a season chequered by injury and some illness to pull through and deliver when it mattered most.”
Bradshaw has been made captain of England’s over-35s squad for the Home Internationals tournament against Scotland, Wales and host nation Ireland in April.
“It’s turned out to be a great season and a complete honour to captain a group of such dedicated and skilled squash players,” she said.
“The best part is now playing with the girls for your country, rather than against them, to qualify for your spot in the team.
“You always raise your game when an England shirt is on your back and a crowd of supporters and team members are there to cheer you on.
“I’m sure Galway will be no exception this year.”
Melbourn Squash Club chairman Roger Woodfield said of Bradshaw: “Kate has had a fantastic season and all her success in these events is down to her amazing dedication and commitment. Everyone at our club is delighted with all her achievements and wish her continued success next season”
England Squash Masters tournaments are open to all players over 35.
“Don’t think you have to be the best to take part,” Bradshaw urges. “If you play squash a bit and want to get back into it, improve or just love to compete, it’s well worth finding your nearest regional tournament and giving it a go.
"It’s an incredibly welcoming community of people who just love the sport. Even if you don’t want to play, if you enjoy watching squash, there’s some amazing, high quality matches to be seen, all for free.”
Bradshaw will be back in action in the domestic Masters tour when it kicks off in Hull on May 27 with the British Open.
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More by this authorMark Taylor