Sidmouth seniors won on aggregate
Axe Cliff 4, Sidmouth 2 (aggregate 4-8)
John Bainbridge chose Alan Devenny as his partner for the seniors’ visit to Axe Cliff, best enjoyed in sunny and still conditions, then if the golf is poor the wonderful views can compensate, writes Terry Carter.
Sidmouth had won the home fixture 6-0 so an aggregate win was going to be difficult to avoid. Playing off 10, Devenny was giving all the shots including nine to Axe Cliff’s Nick Povey, but Sidmouth’s pair acquitted themselves well in a tough game, still level after 14 holes.
However the home pair won the 15th and halved the remainder to earn the first point.
John Hicks and Derek Geear were next off with both receiving shots from Tony Strong off nine, and Geear benefiting from a particularly generous 12 shots.
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I don’t think handicaps were discussed back in the clubhouse when searching for a reason for the seven and six defeat for Sidmouth’s pair, but in a crumb of comfort they were described as excellent company by their hosts.
David Bromage and Tony Gray followed, maintaining the trend set by their leader to lose their point too. This was another tough game, where their par was either matched, or beaten by a birdie.
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Axe Cliff’s 15th hole is a par four, running along the edge of the cliff and finishing with a beautiful view over Seaton and Beer. I can remember playing a B team match there when an opponent advised that, as he was a left hander, he always played his tee shot left over the sea and drew it back on to the fairway. Sure enough he confidently aimed left, but the ball didn’t draw to the right and continued heading south towards Guernsey. Lost at sea! Sidmouth’s pair apparently did the same, lost the hole and the match three and two.
Things were now looking bleak, but the dependable John Carroll and Trevor Bradley were next off.
Well-matched for handicaps, this was very close for most of the game until the cliff edge on the 15th again claimed tee shots. The pair apparently tired over the remaining holes, although some have noticed that they both tend to lose concentration as they near the clubhouse.
Whatever the cause, they lost three and one, making it essential that at least a half point was secured from the last two games.
Nigel Sharp and Colston Herbert were next, facing home pair Morrison Brown and John White, and with all four golfers having handicaps between 20 and 25 a close game was expected.
This was an enjoyable contest, but with Sharp and Herbert ahead for most of the game an excellent three and two win earned the critical point.
Last out were Ken Rothwell and Barry Jones giving shots to the home pair, and this was yet another close encounter. Level as they stood on the 16th tee, Axe Cliff’s Malcolm Reynolds, playing off 28, made his fifth par on the back nine to take the lead and shake the Sidmouth pair.
However, Rothwell and Jones fought back to win the remaining two holes and won one up, and it was no surprise at all to see John Bainbridge celebrate with his famous forward somersault on the 18th green.