Federico Viterbo & Billy Ho

Maidenhead League players shine through

Maidenhead League players Federico Viterbo and Mark Banks were the local stars at the Cippenham Five by Two Senior and Veterans’ 1-Star Open on Saturday. Viterbo came through a strong field to win the main event, the Senior Singles, while Banks was runner-up in the morning’s Veterans’ Singles.

The day started with the Veterans’ Singles. Neither of the top two seeds remained unscathed in their preliminary round groups. Top seed Jojo Senorin lost to both Sean Picking and David Randall but still managed to qualify for the main event by virtue of a count back for second, third and fourth places. Senorin claimed second place with Randall third and Daniel Lucking the unlucky player to fall into the consolation event, which he duly won. The top group was won by Pickin as he won all five of his matches dropping only two games in the process.

In Group 2, Neil Wright was the seed to lose and fittingly it was to the event’s organiser Paul Baker. Baker went on to win this group but not before saving match points against Andy Budgen who led Baker 2-0 at one stage. Wright went through to the main event in second place with Bugden third. The other two groups followed the form guide with Mark Banks and Martin Gray comfortably easing through.

Senorin may have lost twice in his group but the top seed was warmed up for the knock-out stages.  Wins over Bugden 3-0 and fourth seed Martin Gray 3-2 earned him a place in the semi-finals where he defeated Baker. Sean Pickin was unable to take advantage of his place at the top of the draw and succumbed to Radovan Zivkovic 11-9 in the fifth game of their quarter-final. The competitiveness of the event was underlined by all four quarter-final matches requiring a fifth game to decide their outcomes. In the other quarter-final matches, third seed Mark Banks beat the displaced second seed Neil Wright while Paul Baker continued his progress at the expense of Kevin Gray.

The final saw local hero Mark Banks pitted against Jojo Senorin. Banks led 2-1 at one stage and the Cookham Social player looked set to claim the title. However, Senorin put his previous defeats behind him and when Banks ran out of steam in the fifth game Senorin took full advantage.

Mark Banks & Jojo Senorin

In the afternoon’s Senior Singles event Senorin was again up to his old tricks. The second seed was beaten by Ed Slot in his group. Slot recovered from 2-1 down to clinch top spot in the group while Senorin qualified in second place. Fourth seed Martin Gray also fell, beaten by Mohammed Owadally. Top seed Federico Viterbo and third seed Neil Wright both emerged from their groups with their records intact although Wright was made to work hard by Cippenham’s Simon Wilde who led the Welshman 2-1 at one stage.

All four seeded players qualified for the knock-out event in the top half of the draw with three of them in the second quarter. Jojo Senorin won the fight for this semi-final place by eliminating Martin Gray in the last sixteen and Neil Wright in the quarter-final. He met his match in the semi-final, though, against top seed Federico Viterbo.

The bottom half of the draw, devoid of seeds, was open for anyone to come through. Mohammed Owadally was unable to take advantage as, after beating Martin Gray in the groups. he was eliminated by Martin’s brother Kevin in a last sixteen match full of great attack versus defence play. Ed Slot took more advantage, ending the runs of Sarah Horsnell and Radovan Zivkovic but the player who emerged in the final was Billy Ho who had carved a route through David Randall, Kevin Gray and Slot without dropping a game.

The final, though, proved too much for Ho and the power of Viterbo saw the Italian player from the Old Gordonians club take the title after four fast and furious games.

Winner: Runner-up:
Senior Singles Federico Viterbo (ITA) Billy Ho (Wi)
Senior Consolation Danny Cox (Li) Daniel Lucking (Ha)
Veterans’ Singles Jogenes Senorin (Mi) Mark Banks (Bk)
Veterans’ Consolation Daniel Lucking (Ha) Syd Montgomery (Bk)

By Graham Trimmng (November 30, 2013)