Wind blows Sidmouth seniors off course

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 May 2013 | UPDATED: 07:00 31 May 2013

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Sidmouth seniors have played their counterparts from Taunton and Pickeridge twice recently, write Charles Oram.

The first leg took place in Sidmouth three weeks ago in a gale. It was so windy that John Bainbridge’s trolley broke loose from its moorings on the third hole and ran like a yacht before the wind, careering across the fairway and into a ditch, hotly pursued by its owner!

Despite their home advantage, Sidmouth were held to a draw by their opponents and the burning question was: ‘how would the team fare in the return contest?’ The answer, my friend, was: ‘blowin’ in the wind’!

The second leg was held last Thursday and the day began promisingly, since the team awoke to mild weather and bright sunshine.

Unfortunately, by the time the first match teed off in Taunton, the strong winds had returned, and it was an occasion for thermal underwear and thick trousers - so acting captain Nigel Sharp was ruing the fact that he had donned shorts.

Playing with Colin Paddon, the Sidmouth pairing were blown away (as it were) by the masterly golf of their opponents, one of whom recently won his local Open competition.

Not to be outdone, John Townsend and Terry Blackler lost seven-and-five too.

In the circumstances, the pairings of Ray Gunston and John Hicks and of John Bainbridge and Hugh Dorliac, did well to restrict the losing margin to two-and-one.

Nick Bater (the lowest handicapper in the field) and John Serle held out until the last hole before losing their match by one.

That left Paul Blay and John Billingsley as the only Sidmouth victors, with Blay holing a five foot putt on the last green to win by one hole.

It would be unfair to blame the weather for Sidmouth’s loss by five matches to one (and by eight matches to four in aggregate). As they say in Scotland: ‘If there’s nay wind, it’s nay golf!’

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