After a quiet start the 2014 edition of the club champs ended up being a busy evening with lots of entertaining matches, mainly on court two which ran pretty late, starting as it did with two marathons.
Coming through those five-game battles were Ross Mazz and Stu Bell, while Rob Bolt was another five-game victor, over Guy Enonia, one of a pleasingly high number of Club Champs first timers, including the Rowell twins in the women’s event.
Mazz junior, after controversially being top-seeded for the C/D event, came through a thriller against late entrant Kevin ‘Scotsneezzee’ Jackson, a match which would have graced finals day, and immediately retired to the bar.
“I thought I’d done well to negotiate myself down to the C/D event,” admitted the fast-rising jack of all trades, “I couldn’t believe it when I saw that someone had put Kev in the draw instead of me getting a bye. Oh wait, that was me, wasn’t it,” he added sheepishly, going back to serving the Newcastle fans drowning their sorrows (again).
The superstars are yet to make their appearance of course – well, apart from Dave Super Sundin, who could hardly contain his annoyance at actually having to play a match even to reach the old buggers’ final.
“After all I’ve done for this club, all the scalps I’ve taken, all the training I’ve put in over the last two months, you’d think the organisers would save people like Dave Rowland who, I know he’s a former champion and all that, but with all due respect he’s past his best now isn’t he, you’d think they’d realise that making him play someone like me could do terrible damage to his fragile state of mind, never mind his body.
“Still, mine is not to reason why,” added Sundin, “but if I don’t win that title on Sunday I’ll run stark naked down Jarrow high street and you can quote me on that.”
So the stage is set for another six days of fierce competition, with some more great matches starting at 18.00 on Tuesday.