Sussex v Cornwall at The Dyke 2019

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

It was a dark sky that greeted the Cornish Captains on their arrival at The Dyke, brightened only by the resplendent yellow and black of their County colours. Both teams were welcomed by Iain Leithead, the home Club Captain who reversed the stereotypical character of a Scot, by generously giving the visitors advice on the nature of the greens. (All Celts together v the English perhaps). He cheered us all by declaring that as the Dyke is 700ft above sea level we would be enveloped by low cloud around 5pm but not to worry as we would use a two-tee start. See later

The lunch of a heavily pickle-orientated ploughman’s was devoured before the Captains announced the pairings amidst lots of hand waving.

And so, it began…

As is tradition, Captain Phil and partner Home Captain Iain set off in the first match. They made a fine start, leading to a two-up situation after eight holes. Possibly overconfident at this stage, they allowed Captain John and Colin to overturn this and lead by one. Undaunted, back came the Sussex men, recording two birdies to run out winners 2up.

At this juncture, it became clear that there were considerably more Club members reaching the 10th tee than had been envisaged. So, after a considerable delay, it was suggested going back to using the 1st tee.

Match 2 saw President Ian (Bob) Wood paired with Ron Adams against John and Chris from Cornwall. At least, that was the outcome after much confusion on the tee as to who was playing with who. Senility rules ok? When it finally got underway, the match proved to be very even, both sides establishing, then losing the lead. Sussex eventually managed to get home, winning 2up – Ron’s trolley could have got there sooner as it parted company with him on the 6th green, heading down a short cut to the Clubhouse!

Another contest that started very even starred the two Richards (Jays and Cowlard)

in the third game. A slender lead at the 9th was increased by the home pair when they learned that their opponents Mike and Beau only paid £595 annual subs! Amazing fuel is envy. It led to Sussex securing a 3&2 victory and a smug expression.

The fourth encounter produced the greatest comeback since Lazarus – almost!

David Schwartz and Alan Butcher played some exhilarating golf to reach the point of being dormy 5up after the 13th. Undeterred, Cornwall’s Dave and Phil made it dormy 4, dormy 3, dormy 2 until finally Pyecombe’s finest (Dave) holed an 8ft putt to secure the 1up victory. Dodged a bullet there chaps!

Next up produced a runaway triumph, 7&6 for Mick Grimes and Richard Bevan, the only group to actually tee off the 10th tee. Despite the magnitude of the defeat, Laurie and Peter proved to be excellent company, taking it all in good spirit. I wonder if they remembered to adjust their GPS watches……

Andy Lamb and Brian Street’s match was, by contrast, a much closer affair with Sussex recording a narrow 1up lead at the turn. Eventually, the previous night’s drinking caught up with our Cornish tourists, Andy and Eric, as they ran out of energy, allowing the youngster and the veteran to secure victory by 4&3. Interestingly, it also appears Andy was dispensing medical advice to Brian to help remedy his bad back. Something to do with “dry needles” – couldn’t see the point myself.

Match 7 featured Santa and the Vice (sounds like a low budget movie) alias Dave Wilkins and Keith Talbot. Using a pattern of win one, halve one, they built up a 4-hole advantage after 11 holes, dovetailing very well. For some obscure reason, they then adopted a sequence of lose one halve one! Fortunately, Alan and Dave ran out of holes, so the Sussex duo held on to register a 1up success.

The final match saw that Sussex stalwart Norman Milburn paired with debutant Colin Prior. Such was their instant rapport, that Norman wanted to tee off the 10th and Colin the 1st. Eventually they agreed on the same one and the game began. Everything was going well until the 15th when Geoff swallowed a fly. The additional protein led to him and partner John being re-energised but try as they might, they could not stop our heroes getting across the line for a 2&1 win.

Those of you that have been following my words closely may have just realised that the sum total of all this was ……….


Unbelievable! Our statistician (Mark) says this has never been achieved before – well done Captain Phil

The post-match festivities featured a first-class meal from our Host Club, followed by the usual speeches. Well actually not that usual – Phil, in his excitement, all but forgot the toast to our Visitors whilst Cornwall Captain John thanked “Dorset” for our hospitality!!! He prefaced announcing the score by stating that he was calling up a new squad for their match against Hampshire tomorrow. Nevertheless, there were gasps of joy and horror as the result was released.

I suspect they are already planning their revenge for next year …. thanks Phil!

Keith Talbot