Published 13/04/2018 at 15:18:48 by David Wackrill; edited 2 times, last on 14/04/2018 at 10:58:10 by David Wackrill.

Despite not initially qualifying for the tournament, Minesh Pitamber served notice of his credentials to win it with a blistering start in his first game against Ollie Horswell, 10-0 up before giving away a point. Unsurprisingly he took a hat-trick to win his group. Runner-up was Andy Smith with Russell Penn failing to win a group stage match for the 3rd year running.

Meanwhile in the other half of the draw, top seed Alan Bolding was going out, a perfect illustration of just how open this year’s competition was going to be without the peerless Biao Wang involved.  After the first 2 rounds all players had lost once, which meant the winners of the 3rd round matches would be going through. Here Ricky Taiwo triumphed over Alan and Pete Tillotson got the better of me.

In the semi-finals Andy gave a master class of selective attacking play to Ricky and Minesh fought off the heavy topspin of a bang on form Pete. The final was a classic attack v defence battle we all still love to see. Very appropriate too as on an adjacent table the same scenario was being played out at a higher level between Matt Evans and Alan Cherry. Hard as Minesh fought for the title he craved, it was the defensive skills of Andy which won the day over 5 terrific games. The sexagenarian is in the form of his life right now and wasn't to be denied his second Divisional triumph.