Monday - off to the Airport with Steve Cannon have booked with Malta Bargains a very basic Hotel to save money, Checked in at Manchester and there were only 3 flights out the terminal was basically shut, the Zurich flight left at 8pm the PIA flight at 8-30pm and our flight at 9-30pm. So the place was shut no shops open at all couldn't get a bottle of water or sweets.
The flight was on time no problems and well within our luggage limits, no extra charge for my cue case by Air Malta who were a great Airline. No charge for snooker cues and meals were included along with free soft drinks. I was still really ill and wanted to be at home but I couldn't let Steve down.
We arrived at Malta and Bags and cues arrived straight away and transfer bus was waiting straight to hotel which was a little scruffy but fine for 4 nights as we had only paid £ 268 for the flights and hotel half board. which worked out at £ 10 per night half board.
I didn't sleep at all due to coughing all night but break fast was nice a cooked English and lashings of tea and toast were great. The next day were had to be at the Dolmen Spa Resort Hotel by 2pm, we were going to get a taxi but the hotel reception said it was 5 minutes walk, we took the chance and it was only 2 streets away. The Dolmen was nice, the table looked OK although when I played on them they ranged from good to very very poor.
The comp got under way and I played Joe Delaney who was playing instead of Steve Lock, I played really badly, he played really steady getting about 6 or 7 x 30 breaks. I did nothing.
I played Chris Taylor and again played really poor, I just couldn't see the balls with my nose and eyes streaming. I should be tucked up in bed.
I wrote the day off and went to watch United get thrashed with Steve the 8 gins did help me sleep for a few hours but not sure I should have mixed it with the Anti-biotics.
The next day was very similar I played badly, I did manage a win over Guy Heys from Jersey, I don't really know how but I scrapped home, I was pleased just to win a game. The rest of my games were poor I did play well against John Murphy he only won by about 40 in the end after I took a lead and held it for the first 45 minutes. He was a bit out of sorts I think.
The tables were really poor, one table 9 rolled off by 3 inches in one corner Chris Taylor was not impressed especially when his ball ran off hit the cushion twice and missed the bag by two inches when he was on a nice break. I know the table is the same for both players but these were rubbish. I rely on my long in offs a lot and I could hardly get any to go in, I also missed loads of middle in offs, which I hardly ever miss.
That night we were all going out for a Chinese but I went to bed with a few beers and gins. Steve played quite well considering he had only played 4 or 5 times, he set himself a target of 75 points in the hours and managed to get this every time except when he played Rob Hall, he only got 67.
In one game he scored over 100 points which was not bad. It took me a couple of comps before I managed that. He enjoyed it and we managed to get some beer drank and watch some football.
On the Thursday we turned up to play the plate, I was feel a tiny bit better as I had stopped coughing so much and had managed a few hours sleep. On arrival poor old Clive was in despair, not only had he had to change all his tables plans this week but the EBSA had dismantled 7 tables overnight which meant no plate.
I rely on the plate as I will never qualify for the main draw so I was furious, all that way and no plate disgraceful. Steve wasn't happy either. We met some of the other lesser players who also weren't best pleased. But there was nothing we could do.
They week was still fun but soured a little, the Maltese players were great and played a really high standard of billiards, I refereed Joe Grech, he was first class getting 102,54,56 in three visits. Really massive crowds when ever they played. Steve was playing Michael White when Paul Mifsud was playing and there were 134 watching the two tables.
I enjoyed the comp but I probably wouldn't go back unless EBOS were doing the whole thing as they know how to run a comp properly, leave it to Clive Scott and you never have any trouble.
Looking forward to the Welsh next not so far off, hopefully feel a bit better for that one.