It’s Ho, Ho, Ho for hat-trick Billy

Billy Ho

Billy Ho

Ben Wilson
Picture: Ian Groves

Wightlink battle to clinch valiant win

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Billy Ho was the dominant force as he claimed a hat-trick of titles at the Portsmouth closed tournament.

The Generation Aces lifted the two singles’ titles and also the men’s doubles crown at Admiral Lord Nelson School.

The first event held was the veterans’ singles. In the first semi-final, top-seed Mike Rhodes beat Danny Lucking 11-2, 15-13, 9-11, 12-10.

In the other last-four tie, Pete Woodacre, seeded two, edged out Mike Cooksley 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 1-11, 15-13.

Rhodes then beat Woodacre in the final 11-6, 11-5, 11-9.

A gripping junior singles final was won by Dylan Linsell against his brother Julian in a 11-6,12-10,5-11, 8-11, 11-8 success.

It was also a family affair in the cadet singles, as Yaj Vashee got the better of his sister Rutna in four sets.

The Peter Goldring event for non-division one players had nine entrants and was won by second-seed Tim Hampton in a 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 success over Billy Edwards.

Ho grabbed his first piece of silverware in the men’s singles when the top seed defeated Rhodes 11-7, 11-6, 8-11,11-4.

Rhodes had beaten Woodacre in his semi-final, while top-seed Ho was too good for Mike Gibbs.

Ho was back in the honours when he teamed up with Lucking to take the men’s doubles.

In the first round, Cooksley and Rhodes beat Hampton and Wiggins, while Paul Fitzgerald and Gibbs saw off Joe Golds and Grubb.

The Woodacres, seeded two, scraped past Edwards and Waterson in five sets.

In the first semi, Ho and Lucking downed Cooksley and Rhodes 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 and the Woodacres crushed Fitzgerald and Gibbs 11-7, 11-4,11-3.

But they had no answer to Ho and Lucking in the final as the top seeds triumphed 11-6, 12-10 11-8.

The women’s singles final was won by Sandra Collier against Dagmar Hrubisova 11-7, 11-8, 12-10

Collier also claimed the mixed doubles with partner Eric Harvey against Hrubisova and Grubb in four sets.

The last event – and arguably the most fun – was the handicap singles, which saw Ho complete his golden day.

In the first semi-final, Ho saw off Dylan Linsell 25-22, 25-22 having started 15 points down.

Dave Woodacre played superbly to beat Lucking 23-21, 21-16, despite giving away a two-point start in their semi.

Woodcare had only a three-point start in the final and it was no surprise when Ho won 22-17, 22-20.

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