When it pays to be Sidmothian

The annual match for the JH Taylor Putter comprises a four ball matchplay event between those members born in East Devon, led by club captain Dave Hoare, and those born elsewhere who represent the Rest of the World, captained by George Carr, writes John Rockey.

George has been a resident of Sidmouth for well over 50 years, but still does not qualify for the local team, having been born in Solihull (actually), an up-market suburb of Birmingham (or so he tells us!). The match commemorates JH Taylor, a Devonian, who was one of the foremost players of his time, having won the Open Championship four times from 1894 onwards. He was also a leading golf course designer of his time, responsible for the great championship course at Royal Birkdale as well as the 18 holes at Sidmouth. To remember such a great man who had such an influence on Sidmouth Golf Club, 56 players turned out on a day which changed from bright and sunny weather at midday, to cold, damp and windy conditions as the afternoon wore on, with the last match ending in almost complete darkness.

The course has really benefited from the recent dry weather and scoring during the afternoon reflected the good playing conditions.

Most of the tussles were very close with four matches ending all square, whilst Rest of the World pair of Jack Stokes and John Carroll narrowly beat Lester Wilmington and Sam Barnard 1 up.

Of course, there were some larger margins of victory/defeat with locals Murray Bosence and Richard Powell overcoming their more senior opponents Terry Carter and Brian Rostron 5 and 4, a margin of victory equalled by Steve Crabb and Nick Bater against Charles Warren and Roger Bawden. Terry Carter, speaking on behalf of these Rest of the World pairings afterwards, put their defeats down to their opponents having the advantage of local knowledge!

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Another good victory for the locals of 4 and 3 was claimed by Martin White and Michael Knight against the strong pairing of Terry Jones and Colin Macklin. The ladies were also in the field with the local pairing of Sheila Thompson and Sheila Tallon defeating Maria Timms and Liz Chance 3 and 2, followed by another win for the East Devonians when Yvonne Anning and Angela Coles who beat Roz Eaton and Sue Pyne by the same margin.

The overall result was a resounding victory for the East Devonians by 10 matches to 4. However, it was suggested in the bar afterwards that the handicap committee members should start sharpening their knives to make some early cuts to the handicaps of some of the bandits on show.

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That was a view wholeheartedly endorsed by Trevor Kerridge after he and his partner Mike Flattley lost to Pop Banfield and Stuart Coles by 3 and 2, following a barrage of birdies by the local pairing.

? The Challenge Cup is the most prestigious trophy in the Sidmouth Golf Club cabinet and the exclusive club of past winners met on Friday for their annual dinner.

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