Winners Martin Matuzevicius (left) and runner-up Michael Bree

Another maximum entry assembled at Cippenham Table Tennis Centre on Saturday for the Cippenham Super 6 Senior 2-Star Open Championship.

The 48 players were arranged in eight groups of six for the preliminary stage and then separated into two knockout events including a consolation for those finishing in the lower half of their group.

The event started out as anyone’s title because with so few points separating the top players, any one of a dozen or so could have seen the opportunity to grasp a title.

Top seed was Rajan Waterman, now living in Bristol, but a Cippenham member a few years ago. Berkshire interest surrounded the up and coming Daniel McTiernan, from Reading, while Tom Windram, the most successful player in Cippenham’s first team in the Senior British League this season, was seeded seven.

All the seeded players managed to progress into the main competition from their groups but a few suffered losses along the way. Fourth seed Michael Bree was beaten by Jonny Higgins and sixth seed Martin Gunn lost narrowly to Ben Larcombe. Both went through in second place.

Fifth seed Mohammed Owadally did finally win his group but only after a countback following his defeat by Vincent Wu 15-13 in the fifth game. However, Wu lost to Michael Julian and that led to a three-way tie on matches won.

Waterman may have dominated his group, but that was as far as the top seed was allowed to go, beaten by Jody Bevington 12-10 in the fifth of their match in the last 16.

Bevington then came up against Bree, who he had partnered to the runners-up position in the recent Cippenham Team Open. On this occasion it was Bree who emerged the winner and he then defeated McTiernan in the semi-final. Larcombe made up the quartet of quarter-finalists in the top half of the draw.

In the bottom half, Higgins continued his progress at the expense of Paralympic star Dave Wetherill and made the semi-final when he put paid to the run of Neil Wright. Windram also made the quarter-final by beating Patrick Green but was unable to extend his run against Martin Matuzevicius. The man from Hampshire was now flying and beat Higgins 3-0 in the semi-final to set up a final against Bree.

The final was also three straight, with Matuzevicius gaining his first ever Cippenham title against Bree 11-8, 11-9, 11-8.

Best performance by a Cippenham Table Tennis Club member came from Hari Vennapusa who had a good win over Danny Lucking and made it through to the main event where he took the first game but eventually succumbed to Michael Julian.

The Open Consolation was won by Jon Cheung (Devon), with Essex’s Anthony Ellis runner-up.

The tournament was organised by Paul Baker and refereed by Steve Smith.

Graham Trimming
February 25, 2015