Palairet victory for Sidmouth

In the third round of the Palairet Trophy. which is Devon’s premier inter-club competition for amateurs, Sidmouth Golf Club eventually had an emphatic 4-1 victory against Axe Cliff Golf Club at Woodbury Park, but for a long time it didn’t look that way, writes John Rockey.

Whilst Sidmouth’s third pair of club manager Jonathan Lee and Lewis Perry always had the edge on their opponents, having gone five up at the turn and finished their game early on the 13th hole, team captain Paddy Tallon had a torrid afternoon trying to keep tabs on the other pairings in a nip and tuck contest.

As happened in their previous round, the Sidmouth players were giving lots of shots to their opponents, most of which came in the first 13 holes, by which time all the four remaining pairings were either down or just keeping level with their opponents

The first pair of Damion Gee and Duncan Taylor, were two down after 14 holes and with the prospect of having to give yet another shot on the 17th hole, their prospects of a victory looked bleak. However, in a remarkable turnaround, the pair won three of the last four holes, which included birdies on the 15th and 17th to ease Tallon’s nerves and come home with a one up victory.

Sidmouth second pair of Neil Holland and Nigel Winchester were always in with a chance, but could never master their opposition’s gritty and determined play. However, by winning the 16th, the Sidmouth pair came to the 17th one up and when Nigel Winchester holed a great putt to win the hole, much to the relief of those supporting the team, Sidmouth were in an unassailable lead.

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To consolidate the team’s victory, Neil Bunting and Stuart Coles followed the example of those ahead of them and, from being all square after 13 holes, played superb golf to win the next three holes and thus secure a three and two victory for a 4-0 team lead. Unfortunately, the final Sidmouth pair of Nick Gingell and David Bater couldn’t quite overcome the strong play of their opposition and just succumbed on the 17th green after their hard- fought match.

Team captain Tallon couldn’t help having a rare smile on his face after the win, which meant the Sidmouth Golf Club are now in the fourth round of this prestigious tournament where a victory will get them into the last four teams which play on Finals Day.

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