Tartan Trews and all that

PUBLISHED: 15:11 24 September 2010

John Billingsley recieves the Charity Bowl from Ray Gunston

John Billingsley recieves the Charity Bowl from Ray Gunston

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More seniors’ chaos on course

This year’s Seniors’ Charity Trophy to raise funds for the Club Captain Nick Bater’s chosen charity was once again strongly supported by our seniors last week.

The format was Stableford off full handicap, and John Billingsley won the Charity Bowl plus bottles of wine with 41 points. John was delighted to take the rewards for his efforts home to impress management, and she may even have been just as pleased as we were to discover his handicap had eased further south.

The remaining prizes were earned in five separate divisions based on handicaps, and Peter Spooner took the prize for handicaps 8 to 15 with 39 points as well as both nearest the pin prizes on the fourth and 12th holes.

Colin Paddon also had 39 points and won Division Two (16-18), Brian Skittrell won Division Three (19-20) with 39 points on countback, Tony Willson won Division Four (21-24) with 36 points, and John Hawkins Division Five (25-8) with 40 points.

Thankfully the remaining donated prizes were made available for the raffle; otherwise we would have had competition prizes for turning up.

During the prize presentation Seniors Captain Ray Gunston expressed his gratitude to those who had generously donated the prizes for the day, and announced that the players had raised another £350 for the club captain’s charity “The C Group” supporting Royal Marines.

l East Devon v Sidmouth

Persistent readers will know that even when we get a drubbing in friendly away matches, our leader often takes comfort by falling back on the aggregate score if necessary in after-match dinner speeches. This was one such occasion when we visited our neighbours in Budleigh after our 6-0 win at home last month.

Ray Gunston had confidently chosen Pat McCormack as his partner for the opening game against Brian Braund and Tim Webb, suspecting that Tim would still have been traumatised by the heavy defeat he had suffered when facing Pat here in August.

Despite this the Sidmouth pair lost 4 and 3, and John Hicks with John Bainbridge lost 3 and 2 to put the team on the back foot where they stayed when Graham Vincent and Rob Owen lost their game 2 down.

Hugh Blagden and Charles Warren were next off, and I was keen to get an opinion from Charles after their 4 and 2 defeat. Charles was responsible for the recent mathematically doubtful reference to a game of three halves, and I wasn’t disappointed this time. When I asked him how it went he said if anyone knocked at his door offering lucky heather his response would be a right hook. Obviously the rash of heather that closely borders the fairways and can leave golfers wandering round in circles looking for lost balls instead of striding towards the green had proved too much for our pair.

Glyn Hewitt and Dieter Ritz were next off, and a winning combination of better ball pars and double bogies gave Sidmouth a 4 and 2 win to cheer up the captain, and a half for Roger Bawden and Bob Winstone left him reaching for the wine list.

A 5 and 4 defeat for Mark Laird and myself in the last game brought Ray back to earth and put the wine on hold, although he had his cherished aggregate win.

Result: East Devon 5½ Sidmouth 1½

l Tiverton v Sidmouth: In another return away match, Sidmouth visited the popular Tiverton course with a five point advantage from the home match the previous week.

Peter Emery couldn’t believe his luck when he was chosen to partner Ray Gunston in the first game out. When seniors lose games, instead of saying they didn’t play well they usually like to find inventive reasons such as bad bounces or an opponent who played exceptionally well off a generous handicap rather than the obvious, and Tiverton’s Gerry Franklin was a godsend to the Sidmouth pair.

Playing off 8, Gerry was par after 15 holes before finally dropping three shots in an excellent round. The rest of the team did wonder why his partner Ron Derrett and the Sidmouth pair didn’t just play Skins or some other three ball game between themselves,but, despite battling to stay within reach they finally lost 5 and 4.

Nigel Sharp and I were next off, and lost 3 and 2 to give the home team a good start.

John Hicks and Bruce Harcourt then lost 2 down before Pop Banfield and Barry Jones halved their game, despite giving the shots, which earned the half point necessary to give Sidmouth the certainty of at least equalling Tiverton’s points total at Sidmouth.

Richard Whiddon and Terry Hopkins were next off, and I do accept some responsibility for their crushing defeat.

They were playing Jim Walton and Bob Clayden, who had been beaten 6 and 4 at Sidmouth by Brian Le Masurier and I, and who were psyched up and looking for revenge.

Bob Clayden was wearing tartan trews, and I understand they had even arranged for a lone piper to play the bagpipes on the course, as they know my eyes water when I get emotional. All to no avail though, as they were disappointed to discover that they were playing against a different Sidmouth pair, although they did storm to an 8 and 7 victory against their shocked opponents.

Finally, Brian Skittrell and John Townsend, giving the shots, were unlucky to lose on the last to Roger Norton and Lewis Woodgate to leave the two clubs sharing the points over the two matches.

Result: Tiverton 5½ Sidmouth ½ .


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