Cheeky Punt: Martin Platt, Thistlecrack, Newcastle

Date published: Thursday 29th December 2016 11:32

When it comes to gambling there is no real gold standard. No rule book other than simply trying to avoid the losers. If there was a set of rules to live by though one might be not to back sportsmen who look like 1990s Coronation Street love rat Martin Platt.

On Wednesday I made that mistake as I lumped on Mensur Suljovic to win 3-1 in the PDC World Darts Championships. Suljovic/Platt (delete as applicable) was a heavy odds on poke to beat a geezer named Ron Meulenkamp. Meulenkamp, known as ‘The Bomb’, was a fearless 28-year-old upstart from the Netherlands.

My bet was 11/4 Suljovic to win 3-1 in sets. ‘The Bomb’ had darts to take the first set but choked, leaving Suljovic to shakily mop up. Meulenkamp then fell apart, much like Martin Platt in his final few years in Weatherfield. It was grim viewing, the standard very much Rovers Return-esque. Suljovic won 3-0. Money done. The Bomb costing a bomb. Roll on death.


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It was Wizzard who sang ‘I wish it could be Christmas everyday’ and I kind of agree with the old hairy glam rockers, save for the inevitable liver cirrhosis and diabetes you would end up with through tanning booze and Cadbury Celebrations heavily on a daily basis. And I guess there’s a limit to the amount of times you could actually watch that Porridge episode where Fletcher and Godber make the home brew wine before being taken hostage.

Generally it’s a good day though. A day people who have alcohol problems can crack a bottle open at 8am without anyone raising an eyebrow, because it’s f**king Christmas. I was at it early doors round my mams. She was trying to get me involved in that 2% Foster’s Radler caper, but it was all in vain. A mega session only ended with me and the old man polishing off the last of his whisky late doors on Christmas night, then furiously hunting in the garage for a decent WD40 or antifreeze chaser while crooning Bowie/Crosby classic ‘The Little Drummer Boy’.

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I woke up on Boxing Day morning worse for wear but excited. After all Boxing Day is ‘Christmas Day for Adults’. A Bank Holiday when a full domestic footy coupon and brilliant racing combine with heavy boozing. I was in a pub called The Raglan at 11am and while the boozer was not the most salubrious I had ever been in, the Guinness was £2 a pop and it was rammed full of pals and local ‘heads’.

My bet of the day was a nag called Thistlecrack in the King George. Colin Tizzard’s eight-year-old hacked up at 11/8 but I then stuck the full £480 that was sitting uneasily in my Paddy Power account on Newcastle at 4/5.

By the time the Toon kicked off I had drunk so much Guinness I could barely see, which in the event was no bad thing as the Mags threw in a stinker as they lost 1-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday. Bah f**king Humbug indeed.

Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: Liverpool to beat Manchester City at 11/8 (Hills)

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