Sidmouth B team take Titherington lead

Ken Titherington, who sadly passed away 15 years ago at the early age of 40, was a stalwart of Sidmouth Golf Club’s B team and a trophy in his name is now awarded to the winners of the annual match between the club’s B Team and the Emerton Court team of senior players, writes John Rockey.

The competition is played over two legs, with one match in the spring and the other later in the year. This first match was an opportunity for both B team captain Keith Newton and Emerton Court captain Peter Spooner to introduce new players and team combinations for the coming season.

Both captains decided to lead from the front, with Keith partnering Colin Macklin and Peter choosing John Billington as his new partner. In a closely-fought match, Keith and Colin eventually won 2 and 1 to give the first point to the B team.

In the next match, Keith White and Tony Crow put the B team further ahead by also winning 2 and 1 against another new partnership for the seniors of Chris Ashley and Merv Anthony.

However, in the third match, the old heads of Club Captain Dave Hoare and Pat McCormack managed to steady the ship for the seniors by winning a very close match 1 up with a birdie on the last hole by Pat against John Eaton and Bob Johnson.

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For the seniors’ side, the long-standing partnership of Bob Welsman and Alec Salway was split up whereby Bob played with Ray Gunston and Alec partnered Roger Bawden. Bob seemed to have the better of the change as he and Ray slaughtered their very strong B Team opposition of Roger Trivett and Terry Jones by 5 and 3. Bob, who is seen by some ‘as a bit of a bandit’, was reportedly holing puts from all over the place and scored three birdies on the back nine (as far as it went) to seal an easy victory.

However, Roger and Terry were not too despondent, having decided early on to nobble the seniors’ pair in the match ahead of them. They did this by managing to score not only a direct hit, but also a near miss on the same opposition player, with misdirected shots (although there was a suggestion in the clubhouse afterwards that the shots were not misdirected!). This tactic worked very well as their B team colleagues in the preceding match, Brian Leach and George West, were able to complete a very easy 4 and 3 win over Dieter Ritz and a shaken and bruised John Rockey.

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The day didn’t start too well for Richard Powell, (a young 50 something!), when asked by his wife what golf match he was playing in that afternoon. When he responded that it was a match between the B team and the seniors, she enquired ‘what team are you playing for?’ However, his day improved somewhat when he and his partner Dennis Fensom secured a 2 up victory for the B team over Alec Salway and Roger Bawden.

Another result went to the B team when the long hitting Will Hastie and the very capable Steve Crabb teamed up to beat the reliable partnership of Bob Webber and Douglas Goodall 2 up. This result was soon cancelled out in the next match when seniors George Carr and Pop Banfield managed a last hole win against last year’s club captain Nick Bater and his son David. Nick has just recovered from a debilitating bout of chickenpox, so it was good to see him back playing again.

Young gun with a low handicap, Stuart Coles, teamed up with veteran Jack Stokes, who has a more modest handicap, to narrowly beat John Carroll and John Lewis 2 and 1 and secure yet another point for the B team.

The final match was between the very experienced combination of Paddy Tallon and Neil Faulkner for the B team and the seniors partnership of John Bainbridge and David Bromage, who battled out a long and hard-fought halved match. This was a very good result for John and David, which could have been even better had Paddy not made his tap-in birdie on the 18th to win the hole and square the match.

So the outcome of the first leg of the Titherington Trophy ended with the B team taking a 6 � to 3 � lead into the final match to be held in November, when the Emerton Court team will have to pull their socks up if they are to overhaul this substantial lead.

The B team would like to thank their sponsors, Stuart Collings Painter and Decorator, The Radway Inn Sidmouth, East Devon Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic Ltd and Acanthus Creative Print Production, for their continued support and donation of prizes. These prizes went to John Lewis for his excellent tee shot to get closest to the fifth hole whilst another went to Paddy Tallon for getting within a foot of the par 4 18th hole in two shots.

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