The ever-popular Cippenham Team Open took place on Sunday and was once more oversubscribed.
The maximum entry was reached a full 13 days before the official closing date and so 24 teams of two players took to the tables for this unique event that combines a team event with the progressive knockout format in which all the competing teams are ranked at the end of the day.
Players arrived from as far afield as south Devon, Herefordshire, Norfolk and Worcestershire as well as many from the home counties.
The worthy winners were Alim Hirji and Garth Kinlocke (pictured above) playing as a team called “Grip It & Rip It”. They did indeed grip the tournament and ripped their opponents apart with a flawless display that saw both players go through the day unbeaten.
The only other player to remain unbeaten was Mollie Patterson who lived up to her ranking of sixth in England. However, her team-mate Daniel Allen could not match Patterson’s success and their “Table for Two” team ultimately finished seventh.
The eventual finalists were The Urban Legends in the guise of Lucas Papantoniou and Tommy Gritton. Papantoniou went through the rounds unbeaten until he met Hirji in the final while Gritton was only one behind, having also lost to Ed Slot before he fell victim to Kinlocke as the final finished 2-0 in favour of Grip It & Rip It.
Slot had an equally impressive day as his only loss was sustained in the preliminary round group when Johnny Parker got the better of him. This result led to Risan Thirupparan and Parker (R & J) beating Slot and his team-mate Sam Ricks who were therefore displaced initially from a place in the top eight.
However, “The Tactical Tictacs”, as they styled themselves, found another route back beating “Clampitts” (Radovan Zivkovic and Kevin Hill) in the play-off between teams that had finished second in their groups and then stormed through against Loughborough (Daniel Broner and Ayush Buche) and “Table for Two” to set up a semi-final against The Urban Legends.
That proved to be one step too far and they eventually finished in third place, defeating “Devon’s Finest” (Simon James and Kevin Nicholls) in the play off for third and fourth places.
Just outside the top four were “Aspiring Vetts Champs” (Abdullah Ubaidullah & Kyle Murphy) in fifth place and “The Smashers” (Vadym Krevs & Akash Shah) in fifth. “Table for Two” were seventh and “The Dynamic Duo” of Steve Buck and Rob Spiegelhalter were eighth.
The tournament was organised by Graham Trimming and refereed by Sue Hayes.
1 Grip It & Rip It: Alim Hirji & Garth Kinlocke
2 The Urban Legends: Lucas Papantoniou & Tommy Gritton
3 The Tactical Tictacs: Sam Ricks & Ed Slot
4 Devon’s Finest: Simon James & Kevin Nicholls
5 Aspiring Vetts Champs: Abdullah Ubaidullah & Kyle Murphy
6 The Smashers: Vadym Krevs & Akash Shah
7 Table for Two: Mollie Patterson & Daniel Allen
8 The Dynamic Duo: Steve Buck & Rob Spiegelhalter