Norton's David Collins nicked a breathtaking B event in the 2018 Lowes Financial Gosforth Classic with a controlled 3-2 win over Northern’s Jeff Klotz.
The B Event read like a who’s who of North East squash, and if there has been a stronger undercard tournament in the region then this correspondent cannot recall it.
Collins was one of five or six players who, pre-tournament, looked a likely winner. But he was certainly not the favourite
Collins himself had provided a cocktail of determination and flair in seeing off No 2 seed Aitor Chinea in the quarters.
The Tenerife player - a former Canary Islands Champion who had flown in just for the event - levelled at 2-2 with a comfortable win in the fourth, only to watch as the North East player hit a range of attacking winners in the decider.
The final itself was a similar nip-and-tuck affair, and a real contrast of styles. Canadian Klotz bosses the T like a cruiserweight, and he reads the game well, pushing the ball hard and deep and waiting for his chance.
Collins, meanwhile, was pouncing on every half-chance, and going for the kill. Those attacking instincts again paid off as he established a pivotal lead in the decider, his smooth racket-work proving - just - too accurate and clinical for the Northern player as he took it 11-9. That was the 24th nail-biter of the tournament which had gone to the full five games, showing what a treat the fans were served up across the weekend.