East Devon team win Claret Jug

The Claret Jug Team Challenge at Sidmouth Golf Club is a competition initiated by the late past captain Peter Ikin to bring together at the end of the golfing season those golfers who had represented Sidmouth in the various club teams, writes John Rockey.

This year the five teams were captained by Paddy Tallon for the Palairet team, Trevor Kerridge for the East Devon League team, Bob Webber for the Emerton Court team, Colin Macklin for the B Team and club captain Paul Hitchcock who selected the Captain’s team.

Each team comprises eight players and the competition is played as a better ball pairs Stableford off three-quarters handicap with all scores counting towards the winning total.

This year the East Devon League team, captained by Trevor Kerridge, deputising for Lewis Perry, easily won the Claret Jug by the considerable margin of 10 points with a total of 164 points. All the teams’ partnerships had a good day with Mark Thomas and David Pepperell getting 42 points, a score equalled by James Spiller and George Barber. These two good scores were backed up by Challenge Cup winner John Jones and Moray Bosence with 40 points as well as John Welch and Trevor Kerridge who had the same score. This set a total which no other team could get near.

Last year’s winners, the Palairet team with 154 points came second with team captain Paddy Tallon and Neil Holland getting a good 42 points, ably assisted by Stuart Coles and Neil Bunting with 41 points. However a disappointing 33 points from Jonathan Lee and late replacement Ray Gunston, snuffed out any chance of a repeat of last year’s victory, but a solid 38 points by Duncan Taylor and David Bater ensured second place.

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The B Team, who didn’t do too well last year, surprised themselves with 147 points to share third place. Team captain Colin Macklin and Lee Wenham getting a good 40 points, a score backed up with 37s from John Barnard and Malcolm Willoughby as well as Keith Newton with partner Roger Freer. Fortunately, the 33 points from Craig Melluish and Chris Roberts didn’t do too much harm to the team’s overall position. The captain’s team also scored 147 points with club captain Paul Hitchcock and Nick Bater as well as Chris Timms and Chris Lewis getting 39 points each, backed up by 36 points from the father/son partnership of John and Paul Lewis. However the 33 points from Alan Spurway and Richard Powell meant that third place outright was ruled out.

There was a heart-rending plea from the Emerton Court captain Bob Webber for his team to play from the forward yellow tees in view of the advanced age of some of the team members, but his request fell on deaf ears.

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Clearly Webber had anticipated the difficulties for his team whose 141 points ensured that last place was all they had to play for, but at least that goal was achieved!

The best scoring combinations for the team were that of Bob Welsman and Alec Salway with 37 points followed by Dave Hoare and John Rockey chipping in with 36 points. However the 34s from Bob Webber and George Carr as well as from Les Pratt and Pop Banfield ensured last place was all the veterans could manage.

This was a great end-of-season get together with lots of newcomers playing in the competition for the first time with a wide range of the club membership participating from juniors to the more senior players taking part.

At the presentation dinner after the match, Paul Hitchcock handed the coveted Claret Jug to winning captain Trevor Kerridge, who must have been so astounded by the feat that he forgot to fill it, but this will be a treat for us all to savour once he recovers from his temporary memory lapse!

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