Cheeky Punt: Leading a Tibetan Spaniel astray

Date published: Wednesday 25th May 2016 9:37

TibetanSpaniel

So it’s last Wednesday and in my head I have Liverpool down as the best 7/5 shots in the history of gambling to turn Sevilla over in the Europa League final.

The Jurgen Klopp factor, the Spanish team’s iffy away record, all signs pointed to another European glory night for the Reds. I was going to watch the action at home but a mate of mine – The Big Woodowski – persuaded me to join him in some rammy social club to watch the game. My mate works offshore so is worth a few quid and casually announced he’d had £1300 on Liverpool ‘to lift the trophy’ at 8/13. It didn’t start well. An over-zealous committee man on the door eyed me up suspiciously and insisted I give him 20p and my full address details before letting me go in. What did he think I was going to do? Start smashing up the snooker table? Steal a bingo dabber? Get a grip mate, that egg yolk stain on your jumper first got there when John Barnes was still at Liverpool. The one good thing about social clubs (committee men aside) is that the drink is absolutely choice. The lager was retailing at a ridiculous £2.35 a pop and was going down like ice cream.

I was three pints deep when Daniel Sturridge scored an opening goal that can really only be described as ‘Worldy as F*ck’ with the outside of his left peg. The Reds were absolutely bossing the match and Sevilla could have had no complaints of they went in 3-0 down at the break. Talk about a game of two halves though. Liverpool came out after the break a team looking utterly bewildered, like they had spent the 15-minute rest period smoking Spice. A second-half collapse (including conceding an equaliser in the first minute of the second period) sank my bet (and my pal’s 1300 sovs) without a trace and handed Sevilla their third straight Europa League title. To add insult to injury I was denied a £30 single line win in the bingo after the match after shouting up too late. Social clubs? I’ll sh*t em.

*****

I had been invited to a friend’s BBQ on Saturday. Fair play to the friend as I have form for completely ruining these type of events by getting steaming and forgetting I’m not Oliver Reed.

It had been that long since I’d been invited to a good old-fashioned meat cook-off that I had forgotten all BBQ etiquette. Bringing booze is a given, but are you also meant to swing by with a few burgers and sausages too? Being the modern man that I so clearly am I settled on taking 15 bottles of Foster’s Gold, some burgers and some cheese and onion Walkers for those who weren’t full-blooded carnivores.

The day was pretty decent – despite me waxing £40 on Anthony Martial to score first in the FA Cup final. At least I thought it was decent. My mate texted me the next day with a list of alleged felonies I was supposed to have committed, including screaming “you’ll never take us alive” when his neighbour asked us to stop singing in the back garden after 11pm and also (allegedly) being caught in his kitchen snorting a line of paprika off a hard-boiled egg while his dog – a Tibetan Spaniel – looked on in awe.

*****

Greed, in the end, fails even the greedy.

So said Cathryn Louis, and I thought of this quote late on Monday as Andy Murray was toiling on the Parisian clay against Radek Stepanek.

I’d had myself a tennis treble that included winners in the shape of Ivan Dodig and Jeremy Chardy. Quite why I also included Murray to beat Stepanek at 1/33 on is beyond me.

1/33. That’s roughly the same price you’ll get for backing Monday to follow Sunday. It was a pure mug selection brought about my greed and I almost came a cropper as 37-year-old qualifier Stepanek rolled back the years and races into a 2-0 sets lead at Roland Garros.

It would have been hard seeing my bet go down to a 1/33 shot. It would have been even harder to watch loose cannon Stepanek perform his bizarre ‘worm’ celebration if he won (to the uninitiated please see YouTube for the full sordid details). Thankfully Muzza got his sh*t together as he came through a five-set epic that was played out over two days.

Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: Romelu Lukaku to be top Euro 2016 goalscorer at 20/1 (Hills)

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