Scores reflect on the weather
The first medal of the season was played in the face of a strong blustery wind on Saturday, and the scores reflected the difficulty encountered by most golfers on the day, writes Terry Carter.
The first medal of the season was played in the face of a strong blustery wind on Saturday, and the scores reflected the difficulty encountered by most golfers on the day. No golfer in Division 1 managed to make par, but Nick Gingell took first place with a net 68 playing off 5 handicap. James Winchester and Trevor Kerridge both shot net 69s, and James had the edge courtesy of a countback. Over a busy weekend, Trevor had managed to get out from under management's feet on Thursday in the Emerton Court Trophy, Saturday in the Medal, and Sunday in the League Match. Some would say Trevor's wife Elaine deserves a medal too, but I suppose most golfers' wives do. In Division 2, all three winners beat net par, with Steve Crabb carding a net 63 and a 2 shot handicap reduction. N Baker had a net 64 and also earned a two shot cut, and Mick Baden was cut to 14 as a result of his net 65. The Division 3 residents had two golfers playing under net par, with Josh Gigg and P Sexton on 65 separated by countback. Gigg took first place and was cut one shot and, although Sexton lost out on countback, he also earned a one shot cut. Les Oke completed the list of prize winners with a net 68 for third place in the division.The very difficult conditions were reflected in the high scoring overall which produced a 68 standard scratch, and a significant proportion of no returns were registered on the day. Sidmouth v Padbrook ParkIn his first match in charge, team captain Ian Bright welcomed the Cullompton club's team to Sidmouth on Sunday for the first League match, and earned a comprehensive win. David Bater and Lewis Perry took the first point with a 4 and 2 win before Jon Jones and Duncan Taylor weighed in with a narrow 1 up victory. This must have been a closely-matched contest, as Padbrook's Hamish Marshall got an ace on the 15th. As Hamish hails from Kilbirnie, I expect he enjoyed making sure the hole-in-one decanter was full to the brim with whisky again. Trevor Kerridge partnered Marc Shoobridge in the next match out, and once again the point went to Sidmouth as Trevor and Marc won comfortably by 4 and 3. Mark Thomas continues to work on James Winchester's game, and the effort wasn't wasted as they won 3 and 2. With Padbrook staring a whitewash in the face, the last match gave them no comfort. Ian Bright and Paul Hitchcock left the 14th green with a five hole lead and victory in all five matches.Result: Sidmouth 5 Padbrook Park 0While the friendly against East Devon was taking place, Alec Salway was taking the Emerton Court team to Churston for the first round away leg against the Torbay club. These are matches where home advantage is definitely a major influence on results, so it was important to get a couple of points in the bag before bringing Churston to Sidmouth. First off were David Hoare and John Rockey, up against a formidable pair, and a close game went right to the wire before being settled. Apparently Rockey hit a wayward tee shot and had to leave it to his partner, and David obliged to win the hole 2 and 1 and give Sidmouth the first precious point. John Game and Richard Whiddon were the next pair out and, although the team captain did say that, like Arsene Wenger, he never complains, one of John and Richard's 13 handicap opponents previously played for the County off 3 handicap. No sour grapes there then.Third pair out was recent Eclectic Trophy winner Chris Ashley with George Carr. I always enjoy golf with George, as he not only has a great temperament but a lovely smooth swing. Mine occasionally degenerates into a demented thrash at the ball, and George's tempo sets a good example that usually influences others on the course. This match was finely balanced, and it took a win on the last for Chris and George to earn a half. The fourth match featured Trevor Kerridge, who had been given the honour of partnering Mr Salway. In another close match the Sidmouth pair were 1 up as they approached the 17th green, and a difficult putt made by Salway, while an easy one was missed by his opponent, gave our pair a 2 and 1 victory.Sidmouth had received good travelling support for the visit to Churston, and none more encouraging than Tony Ralls. Tony had been following Mike Flattley and Tony Crowe's match, and, when they secured a victory on the last, he couldn't resist celebrating with his trademark double backward somersault by the 18th green. Everyone was impressed, though he did calm down when it was pointed out that this was a friendly contest between the reserves from each team and didn't count towards the totals. However, to the surprise of most spectators, Sidmouth were now 1 point to the good with the last match still to complete, but a 4 and 2 defeat for Pop Banfield and Bob Webber allowed Churston to level but with much to do in what will be a difficult visit to Sidmouth for the second leg. If Sidmouth does eliminate Churston, this will be a feather in Alec Salway's cap. As someone who models himself on those great motivating managers Bill Shankly, Matt Busby and Alex Ferguson, he had attempted to generate similar team spirit by offering to buy a drink for the team if they came away from Churston with two points. Unfortunately Alec suffers from a deficiency of Scottish genes in his make-up, and claimed that the bet was off as they got 21/2 points instead of 2.Result: Churston 21/2 Sidmouth 2 1/2.