Nervous times…Long Sutton chasing Winners Div. 1 Cup. Was there extra tension as we gathered? Surely the greens will not be this fast out there? We had 2 games in hand and were sitting on 97 points, behind the current leaders Folke, who had finished with 111 points. Cricket St. Thomas felt a comfortable venue for us, being local, but our other last game, away at Sturminster Marshall was an unknown quantity. We have never played there. Could we do well enough at Cricket to ease the pressure at Sturminster? First drives off the tee were not encouraging as balls clattered into the conifers to the left, some ‘ lucky’ enough to land on the other fairway, rather than trapped in the roots, others soared to the right, caught OB by the hedge or even sailing magnificently into the greenkeepers’ yard. To be fair, come the end, the wayward shots were balanced pretty equally between both home and away players, but those off first did not know that! I was thinking, thank goodness we have ladies for this shot…the wind will not come into play as much. Playing away meant we would have 4 points for an away win versus 3 to the home players, but home advantage...
Passing group 3 at a crossover point, we heard that Angela and Will were 5 up! John and I were 2 up, so fingers crossed! But…memories of an earlier game surfaced. Tim and I had been 5 up at Long Sutton when we played Cricket at home, and then our opposing pair reinvented themselves on the 10th and we lost our match. Cricket gained 14 points to our 4 that day. Have to stay focussed I told myself. The greens were like glass and rock hard but John was unflappable: he had their measure and calmly rattled them in, while I kept struggling. Thank you Tina for lending him to me, and on a Sunday, a family day. We won 4 and 3 in the end and came in to find that astonishingly Long Sutton had cleared the board, winning all 5 games. I was stunned. What troopers! This gave us 22 points…way more than the 15 needed.
Thank you team, for playing and to some of you for making extra efforts so that we would have a team. Angela was popping pills for her bad back, Ann had to ask to leave work early and Robin rearranged where he took Morning Service, arriving hotfoot in clerical garb. Tim and Caroline won 1 up, Ann and Franco 3 and 2, Angela and Will 6 and 4, Steve and Becky 3 and 2 and John and myself 4 and 3. We were then left waiting for Rachel and Robin in the Joe Harring Trophy match. They appeared. Rachel gave me their match fee and did not say anything. Robin simply said ‘Hello’ in his quiet voice, nothing more. In the end, fearing the worst, I ventured…’How did it go?’ ‘Oh, we won,’ Rachel said, so casually. Amazing.
Now we can relax at Sturminster Marshall…as far as the Division goes, but pressure on whoever plays for the Trophy. If we halve that match it is a tie with Folke and we may well lose on countback....if we win away, 4 points would mean we win the Joe Harring Trophy as well…by 1 point! PLAYERS NEEDED. At the moment we only have 8 and need 12. As a course, I hear Sturminster Marshall is 9 holes with not a lot of difference between the back and front tee positions. It is not long…men only need a driver on perhaps 2 holes but it is very tight. Who fancies the challenge? Get in touch!