Viper alert as Sidmouth defeat Dawlish in seniors encounter

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Golf generic picture - Credit: Archant

Dawlish seniors were the latest side to play against their Sidmouth counterparts on Sidmouth soil, writes Charles Oram.

Dawlish golfers are used to the level fairways and greens that are characteristic of low-lying links courses, so the sloping lies of the home fairways and the difficult borrows of the greens were quite a culture shock.

At Dawlish, the only wild life they have to worry about is the large rabbit population. When they arrived here, however, they received dire warnings about the dangerous adders that lurk in the long grass bordering the fairways. (There aren’t any snakes, but it does no harm to worry the opposition!)

It has certainly been good growing weather recently and the long grass away from the fairways is horrible tangly stuff that wraps around your ankles and the club head - not that you are likely to find your ball if it lands in there! It seems that the opponents of Les Pratt and Vernon Ruffle managed to misdirect a few shots towards the rampant rough, since the match was all over after 13 holes, with the home pair a magnificent seven-up. David Bromage and Bob Skelly were not far behind in the order of merit, winning by the handsome margin of five-and-three.

The story about adders in the undergrowth is rumoured to have originated from Peter Emery, whose connections with the world of racing are well known. On his last outing, in the Veterans’ Cup, he did not quite get the trip, but here, sporting Sidmouth colours and playing with Roger Freer, he finished strongly to win three-and-two.

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Freer is another form horse, and took the prize for nearest the pin.

There were halves for the other Sidmouth pairings; Doug Goodall and Colin Mitchell; Glyn Hewitt and Terry Blackler; and Dieter Ritz and Bruce Harcourt. So Sidmouth took the honours by four-and-a-half matches to one-and-a-half to avenge the defeat at Dawlish, and to triumph by six-and-a-half to five-and-a-half on aggregate.

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The Dawlish course may have a minefield from the Second World War - but at least we have a secret weapon in the unforgiving, viper-infested rough!

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