To finish off 2014 a squad of Bishop Auckland players and coaches and family’s made the trip over to Blackpool for the Blackpool 2 star. Thanks to a very generous donation the squad got free accommodation for the Saturday night so the entire squad and family’s enjoyed a squad meal prior to the tournament on the Sunday.
The event saw 94 players come together and the strong event started with the Cadets and under 11 age groups. Leo Pontone had a slow start finishing 3rd in his under 11s group but made up for this by making his way to the under 11 plate final. The final was one win to far going down 3-0. Luca Pontone and Jack Jacomb both playing in the under 15’s had different mornings , Luca, like his brother found the going tough and finished 3rd in his group but managed to progressed to the quarter finals. Jack picking up to victories in his group made his way into the main event before finding Scottish international Dylan Curry too hot to handle in the last 16.
The afternoon saw the older lads of Zak, Tom, Carl and Rob join in the action, joined by Jack in the junior boys. Jack made his way into the main event as group runner up thanks to 2 no shows. Carl showed some great play and forced the better players in his group to work to get the victory’s before finally picking up a win to finish 3rd in his group. Tom after being 2-0 in his first match found his rhythm to take a 3-2 before a 3-0 win to set up a great clash with Justin Wong with Tom just going down after a fantastic match full of great topspin points. Rob after a long wait while the rest of his group finished off the morning events showed the long wait in his first match, never really getting going before starting to find his feet vs. top seed James Smith, but wasn’t enough to cause an upset and joined Carl in the plate. Last player though was Zak, Picking up a 3-0 victory to start before beating the 12th seed 3-0 including coming back from 6-0 down in the second, and to finish as group winner Zak finished as he had started with another 3-0 victory.
Luca Pontone started to find his gears and scored two 3-0 victories in his u13’s group only losing to highly ranked Harry Watson to reach the last 16 of the u13’s where Jamie Lui was too strong going down 3-0. Leo Pontone found the going tough losing in his group but made it through to the quarters of the plate event.
In the plate thanks to 2 more dropouts Rob Renton made his way to the quarter finals before going down 3-1, with some more match play during the day and could have been a different story. Carl made his way with a 3-1 victory in his last 32 match before running out of steam and going down 3-0. Jack Jacomb winning streak also came to an end going down in the last 32 of the juniors. Tom Whittaker kept moving up the gears after his early near slip, scoring a fine 3-2 win over upcoming Lewis Palmer. Not to be out done Zak also scored a 3-2 win albeit much closer (13-11 in the 5th). Both Zak and tom then found the seeded players James Smith and Daniel Clarke too strong.
A good end to 2014 for the Bishop players and a great club outing the first of many to come.