Sidmouth win back the Picture

The annual Picture Match between Sidmouth Golf Club and East Devon Golf Club, so called as the winning club has the honour of hanging the coveted Picture in their clubhouse for 12 months, is played over two legs, home and away, writes John Rockey .

The return match at Sidmouth saw the home club needing to overturn a four-point deficit from the away match played previously.

There was no need to worry. Sidmouth won by a whopping 18 matches to six to give them a two-leg winning margin of 28-20. The coveted Picture is back hanging in the clubhouse for the first time since 2007 with Sidmouth also having the bragging rights for the next 12 months.

In an effort to boost the chances of a good home win, team captain Michael Knight had introduced a number of new faces into the contest which comprises eight foursomes matches in the morning, followed by 16 singles matches in the afternoon.

The morning foursomes quickly cut the four point deficit to one point by lunchtime with Neil Holland and Duncan Taylor gaining a 2 and 1 victory, followed by Stuart Coles and Nathan Brace getting a 5 and 4 win. The Mark Thomas/Luke Sheppard partnership won 2 up, followed by emphatic victories from Will Hastie and Neil Bunting by 8 and 7 as well as a 5 and 3 win from club captain Paul Hitchcock and Chris Lewis.

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Team captain Michael Knight and James Winchester-Smith gained a good half. John Jones and Lewis Perry as well as Nick Gingell and David Bater couldn’t quite get the better of their opponents.

Sidmouth got off to a hot start in the afternoon singles when Neil Holland (1 up) and Duncan Taylor (5 and 4) won the first two matches. The third and fourth matches were nip and tuck with John Jones and Lewis Perry eventually getting hard fought halves. Stuart Coles, playing his best golf for a while, scored an emphatic win, 5 and 4, to keep Sidmouth in the overall lead. More wins came from Nathan Brace (2 and 1) and Mark Thomas by one hole, which gave Thomas a total of four wins over the two-legs. Sidmouth forged ahead, despite a temporary blip when Nick Gingell lost by one hole. However, Neil Bunting won 5 and 4, Will Hastie 6 and 5 win, Luke Sheppard got a well deserved half.

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David Bater lost one down, but the last four matches all went to the home team. Knight (7 and 5), Chris Lewis (2 and 1), club captain Paul Hitchcock (3 and 2) and James Winchester-Smith (4 and 2) all added to the winning total.

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