Sidmouth deliver the goods against Axe Cliff

Sidmouth entertained Axe Cliff and, as always, John Bainbridge was a generous host as he and Bob Reynolds allowed the visitor’s Rob Grove and Neil Moorcroft to win the first two holes, writes Terry Carter.

However, the next few holes were close before our pair won the seventh, eighth and ninth to hold a narrow lead at the turn.

Moorcroft was apparently unsettled on the twelfth when a trolley from the ladies in front whizzed backwards down the slope past the green, closely followed by the owner, but the game remained close until our pair won 15 and 18 for the first point.

In the next game John Anderson was giving two and four shots respectively to the visitors and 11 to his partner Derek Geear, with the first shot given on the par four third so no surprise that the first two holes were halved.

From then on our pair steadily drew ahead to win six and four, with just one rule book check required when Geear’s tee shot on the twelfth bounced off a tree to land back on the green three feet from the pin.

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His handicap gave him a free shot so he was there for nothing, but no rule for unfairness could be identified.

Bob Skelly and Bruce Harcourt were receiving 11 and seven shots from astounded visitor Chris Walker, so he and partner Geoff Hubbard faced an uphill task at Sidmouth in more ways than one.

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Playing well, our pair was five up at the turn then held that lead in a closer back nine to secure the next point. With Sidmouth having secured the first four points, the next game looked good for another point when Nigel Sharp and Charles Oram led by two holes at the turn.

However, visitors Jack Bannister and John Mant hit form to level by the twelfth, but our pair recovered to win three and one.

Having only secured a half point in the away match in July, our captain was by now so excited at the thought of a clean sweep at home that he was considering putting wine on all six tables at dinner.

The sixth game featuring Chris Grubb and Ken Price against Axe Cliff’s John White and Iain Bain was close throughout, and a two and one win for White and Bain gave the visitors a crucial point but probably kept John Bainbridge’s bar account in credit.

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