Somerset v Sussex at The Mendip


Following the celebrations and a motivational speech from Captain Brian the night before, we set out in buoyant mood for the traditionally tough fixture against Somerset. Reaching the course at Mendip proved a stern test in itself, as it appeared barricaded in with roadworks. Nevertheless, we mostly arrived in time for a generous lunch (except Andy & Phil who foolishly took notice of the agreed meeting time!).

Thus replenished, the Sussex tourists took on their task of beating their hosts over the rolling hills of Mendip with its glorious views over Glastonbury and a wind turbine.

 

First out was Captain (now General) Brian and his trusty companion, tour veteran Neil Smith. Both showed the benefit of the Skipper’s training regime and managed to edge a closely fought contest 1up. Winning the last two holes to secure the win, the Captain put their success down to the lack of Smurfs!

Next up were two of the previous days winners, the genial Ian Potter and Derek May, who DID remember his clothes this time. They fought valiantly but could not avoid defeat 1down despite a birdie at the 17th. Derek said the match was played in great spirit but he also stated Ian first contribution wasn’t until the 14th. Cider 1 Beer 0

 

Match 3 saw the roomies Peter “Tarzipan”Ward & Joe Angella (SGC’s answer to Steven Hawking) paired together. Not sure what they meant exactly, they came from behind to register an impressive 4&3 victory, including Joe chipping in twice and having 4 birdies between them. Actually, nothing comes between them but that’s another story…

Pete finished with 2 birdies but as everyone said, the match was over by then.

The 18th hole saw the conclusion of the 4th Match with Nigel Wates and Jerry Hibbs

successfully securing another point for Sussex by 1up. Our pair, probably the most sensible and easy-going guys on tour, described their opponents Mike & Bob as perfect hosts. This probably means they were given many putts or provided with copious amounts of beer afterwards!

 

The toughest Match 5 (ahem – author’s poetic licence!!!!) pitched Richard “3 wheels on my wagon” Jays and Keith “The Lawman” Talbot against formidable opponents Paul & Malcolm. Early exchanges were even until Sussex forged ahead 2up only to be pegged back by a stunning pitch in by Paul on the 14th. Not to be outdone, Richard played a remarkable shot on the 16th followed by a tremendous putt, to put Sussex back in front. The 17th saw Malcolm secure his third 2 at the par 3’s to level up again. The final hole witnessed all sorts of trials and tribulations before a half was secured.

(Lawman above = Lime & Water man)

 

Phil “The Scouser” Williamson and Mark “larger than life” Terry were together in Match 6. Playing apparently unbelievable golf, our heroes went 3up after 3 holes. One of their opponents then employed the old “running commentary on every shot” routine which had the desired result on P & M. Nevertheless undaunted, the Sussex pairing did not falter and, if I have read Phil’s writing correctly, he secured back to back birdies to maintain their lead. Despite a Somerset chip-in at the 17th, a half at the last was good enough for another Sussex 1up win to be chalked up.

 

In the penultimate game, Andy Plowright and Mike Davis were up against a virtual Octogenarian, playing off 9 handicap. He amazed our duo by reaching the stroke index 1 with a drive and a nine iron amongst other notable shots. Now given the conspicuous consumption of beer by our celebrated players, this could have been a challenge too far. But with Mike playing spectacular golf throughout the middle holes and Andy providing strong support, our chaps triumphed 3&1 for a memorable victory.

 

So, to the final match where our anchors (no reference to weight, shape or anything else) were Lord Gherkin alias Norman Milburn and Ian “Jags” Jaggard. Using some of Ian’s words “using their shots wisely, our golden oldies went 4up not least due to Jags silky putting stroke”. Clearly this humiliation was too much for the Somerset lads to bear so they hit back with a succession of pars to take the game down the last. Not to be defeated, ice-cool Norm held his nerve, holed the putt and victory was assured, again by 1up.  

 

On then to the post-match dinner, where Jim Scott, Somerset’s Captain graciously handed over the trophy to Captain Brian, Sussex having been victorious by 6.5 to 1.5.

The whole day had epitomised everything that is good about these contests and the banter between the two sides was much in evidence.

Following a tremendous meal, good joke (though not as funny as “the snail”) and really helpful directions, we set off back to Rudge as probably the most successful tour ever.

The celebrations were loud and long until the inevitable tiredness caught up with the lightweights (myself included), leaving the finely honed athletes to it……..

 

 

 Keith Talbot

 

PS  - possibly best comment on tour

Following the 7&6 win by Jerry and Derek on Wednesday, overheard in the bar

“so, who took the bell out of their opponents’ ball?”

IMG 1535

Somerset Captain Jim Scott presents the SomSex Trophy to Brian Street


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