Another maximum entry was received for the 13th running of the Cippenham Team 2-Star Open on Sunday. In fact, the tournament was once again over-subscribed and many potential entries had to be refused. A maximum of 24 teams can be accommodated for this competition which, in addition to being a team rather than individual tournament, also features the progressive knockout format.
The tournament got under way with teams drawn into eight groups of three. Apart from Class Act, the Welsh duo of Neil Wright and Julie Hughes, all the top ranked teams managed to win their groups. All the group winners then also managed to progress into the top eight section, either by beating another group winner or, if they lost their match-up with another group winner, via the repechage against a team that won their battle between second-placed teams.
The eventual winners were The Godalming Gechos pairing of Adam Laws and Andrew Smith. Smith, playing at number two, was the stand-out player in the event and the only player to go throughout the day unbeaten, even though he was taken very close, 11-9 in the fifth game, by the precocious talent of 12-year-old Harry Yip. Yip was part of a young HTTC team, with Jacob Evans, that displaced, in comfortable fashion, Class Act from the preliminary round group and then went on to finish fifth overall.
In the final the Geckos played their stable-mates Godalming. Both finalists romped through the early stages, winning all their matches 2-0. However, it all changed in the semi-final and final rounds when a deciding match was the order of the day, all three being decided 2-1.
Highbury struck first in their semi-final against the Geckos when Josh Nashed pulled back a two-game deficit to defeat the higher ranked Adam Laws. Geckos equalised when Andrew Smith defeated Fabien Mauroy 2-1 and it was left to the two losing players to play for the place in the final. Laws eventually proved too strong for Mauroy despite the first two games requiring multiple deuces.
Godalming’s semi against Ma Lou took a similar path. The talented youngster Louis Price gave his team the lead beating Federico Viterbo 3-1 but Rory Scott hit back with the same scoreline against Mark Farrow. Viterbo clinched the match for Godalming with a straight-games win over Farrow.
The final was another exciting affair. Viterbo got Godalming off to the perfect start against Laws but the Geckos hit back when Smith saw off the challenge of Scott. Scott took the first game of the decider but that turned out to be in vain as Laws won the next three to secure the Team Open title for The Godalming Geckos.
The tournament was organised and refereed by Graham Trimming.
- The Godalming Geckos: Adam Laws & Andrew Smith
- Godalming: Federico Viterbo & Rory Scott
- Highbury: Josh Nashed and Fabien Mauroy
- Ma Lou: Louis Price & Mark Farrow
- HTTC: Jacob Evans & Harry Yip
- The Alliance: Ugur Saglik & Aris Kapsanakis
- Nomads: Lee Phillips & Philip Marshall
- All or nothing: Adam Johnson & Dakshin Thopay