Runner-up Phil Cox, left, and winner Martin Gunn

Top Gunn makes it a Cippenham hat-trick

Author:
Graham Trimming

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Martin Gunn completed a hat-trick of wins in the Cippenham Super 6 Veterans’ Open on Saturday, having won the event for the past two years and also in 2014.

Along with his successes in other events at Cippenham, this marks the ninth Cippenham title for the Windsor resident since 2013, quite a record!

For a 1-star open tournament, the event attracted a quality competitive entry and the maximum number of participants that could be accommodated in an action packed day.

The play began with the 48 players split into eight groups of six each. Six of the eight seeds progressed from their groups unscathed but Daniel Heo was beaten by Cippenham’s Mike Rhodes.

Group 4 saw a right ding-dong as three players emerged with four wins each from their five matches. The tie-break resulted in Andy Barnes being declared the winner of the group with the seeded Phil Snelson, the 2015 champion, second and Gary Keers third. Barnes beat Snelson 3-1 but lost to Keers 2-3 while Snelson beat Keers 3-1.

Then it was into the knockout stage. Top seed and defending champion Gunn progressed to the final with wins over Snelson, Phillip Smith and then his Cookham Social team-mate Mark Banks in the semi-final. Banks, who plays for Cippenham in the Veterans’ British League, had a great result in the quarter-finals when he recovered from two games down to defeat the awkward style of third seed Rory Scott.

In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Phil Cox also made his way to his allotted place in the final but his journey was more dramatic. After defeating Gary Keers 3-0, Cox lost the first game of his quarter-final to seventh seed, and former champion, Steve Davis before emerging a 3-1 winner and then had to pull out all the stops to defeat sixth seed Kevin Nicholls 3-2 in the semi-final.

Gunn, fresh from his exploits a couple of weeks earlier at the World Championships of Ping-Pong, used his hard bat to great effect in the final and although Cox battled hard, he eventually had to admit defeat 3-1.

Kent’s Dean Rose won the consolation event, beating Gary Jackson of Oxfordshire.

The event was organised by Graham Trimming and refereed by Wendy Porter.

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