Sidmouth suffer bunny trouble in Picture Match defeat to East Devon

The Picture that is the 'trophy' contested by Sidmouth and East Devon

The Picture that is the 'trophy' contested by Sidmouth and East Devon - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth will have to produce the goods in the return at East Devon if they are to enjoy victory in the Picture Match with neighbouring East Devon, writes George Carr.

Sidmouth Golf Club’s website show that the origins of this fixture hark back eighty-one years to April 21, 1932, when a letter was sent from Sidmouth to East Devon golf club informing them that ‘The greatest club in the world’ would be arriving about 10am with sixteen stalwart fellows. East Devon replied (in that rather less touchy-feely age), that Sidmouth were sending sixteen rabbits which in due course would be slaughtered in the cause and be returned ready for cremation!

These letters, along with a couple of cartoons by CE Gatehouse are housed in a frame and constitute ‘The Picture’ being played for, which picture presently adorns the walls of Sidmouth Golf club - last year’s winners.

Alas dear readers, I have to report that more than half of Sidmouth’s ‘rabbits’ were indeed slaughtered in this home leg on Sunday last. Among the survivors, however, can be found some seeds of hope.

The eight morning foursomes left Sidmouth with a one point lead, a margin too narrow for comfort. Notable victories for the home side included a five-and-three win for club vice captain, David Peperell and his young partner George Barber, and a remarkable eight-and-five victory Nick Gingell and Jamie Spiller.

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In the sixteen afternoon singles East Devon turned the tables winning nine matches to Sidmouth’s seven to gain an overall one point advantage (twelve-and-a-half to eleven-and-a-half) to take home with them for the next leg.

Lewis Perry’s narrow defeat on the 18th by East Devon’s Paul Newcombe - one of the County’s top golfers - was an achievement in itself since all these matches are played off scratch; but the most notable performance for the home side in the singles came from the youngest team member making his debut in this fixture. George Barber triumphed seven-and-five over C McMorrin of East Devon; this, added to his victory with David Peperell five-and-three in the morning foursomes, must be close to a record debut.

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Luke Sheppard and Dave Peperell had comfortable victories in the singles while Nick Gingell completed a successful day by sinking an eight foot birdie putt for his singles victory on the 18th. Jamie Spiller’s vital one up victory (after last Sunday’s heroics in the Palairet at Churston) helped to keep Sidmouth in touch; but they will have to be at their very best in the return leg at East Devon in September if the ‘Bunnies’ are to remain on the club-house wall.

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