03:04PM, Thursday 10 January 2019
Andrew Smith remained unbeaten as his team, the Godalming Geckos, won the Team Open at this month’s Cippenham Team 2-Star Open Championships on Sunday.
Smith, paired with Adam Laws but playing as the number two seed, was the event’s stand-out player and finished the day undefeated – even if he was stretched all the way to a fifth and deciding game by the precocious talent of 12-year-old Harry Yip.
The tournament got underway with teams drawn into eight groups of three, with all the top ranked teams – barring Class Act’s Welsh duo of Neil Wright and Julie Hughes – topping their groups and reaching the latter stages.
Yip was part of a young HTTC team, alongside Jacob Evans, that dispatched Class Act in the preliminary rounds and went on to finish fifth.
In the final the Geckos played stablemates Goldalming. Both finalists romped through their knock-out matches before being tested at the semi-final stage.
Highbury struck first against the Geckos in the semis, when Josh Nashed pulled back a two-game deficit against Laws. Smith defeated Fabien Mauroy 2-1 to make it all square before Laws proved too strong for Mauroy, despite multiple deuces in the opening couple of games.
Godalming beat Ma Lou 2-1 in the other semi to set up an exciting all- Godalming affair.
Federico Viterbo got Godalming off to the perfect start against Adam Laws but Smith saw off the challenge of Rory Scott and, although Scott took the first game of the final match, Laws won the next three to secure the team title.The event was organised and refereed by Graham Trimming.
1, The Godalming Geckos: Adam Laws & Andrew Smith; 2, Godalming: Federico Viterbo & Rory Scott; 3, Highbury: Josh Nashed and Fabien Mauroy; 4, Ma Lou: Louis Price & Mark Farrow; 5, HTTC: Jacob Evans & Harry Yip; 6, The Alliance: Ugur Saglik & Aris Kapsanakis; 7, Nomads: Lee Phillips & Philip Marshall; 8, All or nothing: Adam Johnson & Dakshin Thopay.
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