Sidmouth get through to semi-final

Sidmouth’s final match in the SW section of the B League was against neighbouring Budleigh Salterton.

Sidmouth won all three games in the morning, with both Peter Nelson and Colin Walls pegging out.

The doubles partnership of Pam Bowra and Philip Harris was unable to get to peg within the time, but, nevertheless, won handsomely with a plus-seven score.

In the afternoon, Sidmouth won three of the four singles, resulting in a 6-1 match win for Sidmouth.

On this occasion, the captains of both sides were non-playing and, once the initial formalities had been completed, were able to enjoy watching all games from the sidelines.

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Sidmouth, having won three out of their four League matches, now progress to the area semi-finals to be held in Cornwall.

l The annual Fun and Food event attracted nearly 40 members who were willing to undergo various undignified attempts at running hoops under instructions, originally devised by John Dixon. The weather was fine and some members, though not many, surprised themselves with their ability to perform tasks blindfolded, one-handed, one-legged, etc. All this good fun was followed by an excellent buffet supper.

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l A team of John Dixon, Derek Powell and Keith Thorley travelled to Plymouth for Sidmouth’s last Intermediate League game of the season.

This was a needle match, as both Sidmouth and Plymouth had previously scored two wins out of three and a further win for either team would secure a semi-final play-off place.

The Plymouth Club grounds are unique in that they are located over the City’s main water reservoir – there being only a few inches of soil above the concrete. Ironically, despite the ample supply of water close at hand, the club’s lawns are not watered, resulting in a variable playing surface – a challenge for our players more used to the quality of Sidmouth’s lawns.

The morning games produced a win for Keith with a golden hoop finish, but the doubles partnership of John and Derek lost by six hoops.

After lunch, Keith lost out to a very experienced player by nine hoops. Both Derek and John had closely-fought games – Derek winning by a single hoop, but John going down by two hoops. It was an enjoyable day, nevertheless, with games played in a good spirit, but a loss for Sidmouth by 2-3.

The Sidmouth team is to be congratulated on a much-improved performance this year and wish Plymouth every success in the semi-finals.

l This year, the club has initiated an 18-24 Internal Handicap Tournament to provide an additional opportunity for association players in this range to improve their handicap.

With 10 participants playing in two blocks and with each 18pt game requiring two-and-a-half hours, a flexible approach to tournament duration and lawn allocation was called for.

Winners and runners-up in each block played in the semi-finals and there were no surprises with Muriel Philpott, Philip Harris, Colin Walls and Peter Nelson getting through.

Colin and Peter both won 18-7, with Colin beating Peter 18-11 in a cagey final.

The tournament was an undoubted success, though some improvement in the format may be desirable in the future.

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