Sussex v Sussex Lady Captains (SLC-SGA)

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Captains Brian Street and Janet Garbutt

On yet another sunny day in this globally-warmed summer, Sussex Golf Captains met at Hayward's Heath Golf Club to contest the annual match against our County's Lady Captains and Secretaries in what has always been a fiercely fought but very friendly match. On the 43rd annual fixture (according to one notable past Sussex Golf Captain, the match takes place every year too) the atmosphere and nervous anticipation of yet another close match was electric. Phil Williamson was apparently seen trying to stop his hair standing up because the electricity was so strong.

As always, Hayward's Heath gave their usual warm welcome and fortified by copious amounts of sandwiches and the odd glass of Harvey's the pairings were announced by Brian Street and a sadly injured Janet Garbutt who was fit enough for a prolonged period of solid negotiating on shot allowances. The rumour that Brian basically just gave in to Janet was given substance when the total number of shots being given over the 10 matches was revealed to be 63. After 4 successive victories, the men were clearly prepared to be overly generous to give the ladies their best chance to get on the winning trail again and beneath Janet's gentle exterior, beats a heart of steel obviously!

In the first match out, Captain Brian and HH Captain Phil Keerie were up against a strong pairing of HH Ladies Captain Marian Bulley and 2016 Ladies Captain Sylvia Huggair and the match came down to the 18th where Sylvia had a real deja vu experience suffering the same fate after losing her match on that hole in 2016 to your scribe. Brian and Phil won 2 up.

As for the 2nd match, it was clear the Peter Ward and Phil Williamson (or as they are better known, Tarzipan and Jane) were in no mood for generosity and were ruthless (some would say bullying) in beating President Wendy Shergold and Carole Lee - always good to see the daughter of the competitions founding father - by a solid 5 and 4 score. To cap it all, Peter then ensured their suffering was not over by regaling them with many stories of royal icing and cake experiences in Australia which could have easily turned the ladies to drink.

A good start with 2 wins for the Captains was soon undermined by the third result where Roland Heath and Jags went down to a 2 and 1 loss, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory by losing the 15th, 16th and 17th holes. The Ladies' pairing of long hitting Elaine Fell and steady as a rock, straight down the middle Brenda Clift were tenacious and when their chance came took it with both hands. Jags was heard to say that while he was used to being out-driven by most of his male colleagues, it was the first time he'd been treated in such a way by a lady who hit the ball way longer than he did. It's an age thing!

In the fourth match, a closely fought affair between Mark Terry and Keith Talbot up against Hester Gemmell and Rosemary Barford, also went to the 16th with Mark and Keith prevailing 2 & 1. The same score in the next match, but a loss this time for Neil Smith and Tony Bauckham to Pat Johns and Bali Bassan. This match was resolved on the 17th when Pat sank an outrageous putt of either 45ft or 3/4 of a mile depending on who told the story, to win the hole and the match.

In match 6, the pairing of gentle giant Andy Plowright and our own bundle of energy, Harold Knight scrapped their way to an excellent half against another long lady hitter Tessa Stockwell and her partner Linda Brand. In explaining their match result, our Little and Large were heard to say that the long and the short of it was that it was a fair half. Match 7, the clash of a generation of Presidents (what's the collective noun for Presidents - answers on a postcard) with Eddie Noyce (President) and Norman Milburn (IPP) against Bron Morley and Lil Cummins was described as a nip and tuck affair although no explanation was given on that description. This match went to the 18th where Bron and Lil came through 1 up. Despite the result, Eddie was very upbeat feeling that it was his best game since coming back to playing - good job Mr President.

In match 8 Santa Wilkins and Mark Dunn were too strong for Jill Glaser and Mary Barnard and eked out a 2 & 1 win and in the next match, Steve Tellyn and Ian Potter withstood a strong fight back from Nikki Terry and Jenny Fahy to run out 3 & 2 winners. So after 9 matches the score stood at a draw four and a half all with all depending on the final match to come in.

Veteran John (Daktari) Benoy and Mike (I wish I could putt) Davis had a good match with Marlene Gibson and Sheila McNeill finishing on the 18th by winning 2 up. That result ensured that the men kept up their winning run although in doing so, Captain Brian suffered a number of nervous moments waiting for the Benoy/Davis duo to come through with the necessary victory.

Looking at the results, clearly the shot allocation was pretty accurate with 8 of the matches getting to the 17th and 3 of those going to the 18th. Proud as Tarzipan and Jane must be of their bullying tactics against Wendy and Carole in getting a 5&4 victory, it was hardly in the spirit of the day and their conduct is being investigated by the Equalities Commission to establish whether an offence has been committed - heads could roll!

Match Result Sussex Captains win 5½ - 4½

After an excellent dinner and many thanks from all sides, the two Captains presented each other with glass mementos (real lovefest that was) and Janet reluctantly but graciously presented the salver with a promise of even tougher shot allocation negotiations next year.

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Several comments were made about the wonderful atmosphere of the day and all thanked Hayward's Heath for being exceptional hosts with the course in great condition and the catering and bar staff being very welcoming.

Having rested his reporter's pen to psyche himself up for bullying two defenceless ladies, Phil Williamson will undoubtedly return to scribe future matches and will equally undoubtedly get some measure of revenge for this mild banter.

Ian Jaggard

Captains v Ladies - 10th July - Fake News Alert

Following research by Phil (Ferret) Williamson, there has been a shocking discovery of Fake News in the reporting of the results of the annual challenge match between the Captains and the Sussex Ladies. It has been established that the match reporter had been the recipient of a large bribe (pint of Harvey's) to suggest that the pairing of Santa and Mark Dunn had beaten Jill Glaser and Mary Barnard; this was untrue and although the correct overall result was reported, the fact that Jill and Mary had overcome the bewhiskered Santa and Mark was not reported accurately. The humblest of apologies are tendered to Jill and Mary and yet another inquiry with expensive lawyers has been set up to see whether this false reporting could have affected the outcome of the match. The inquiry will be led by Phil, who among his many non-executor roles, has a link to the Fox Network so knows all about Fake News.

Ian Jaggard

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