On an overcast muggy day in picturesque lower Exmoor, a lean and hungry (at least, Captain Bill) LSGC team of 16 arrived fired up and ready to win at the challenging undulating Enmore Park GC which was in superb condition. Our very own past captain cheerleaders, John Williams and Mike Poole were in fine form barracking the Captain and desperate to burn off nervous energy.
The lead off pair of Franco and Brian Hunter (both 19) were given 6 shots by the strongest home pairing of Dave (13) and Peter (12). Throughout it was a closely fought contest, led mostly by an 'on fire' Franco who, according to Brian, "played like a 12 handicapper and lost, but only just - 1 down".
In Match 2, Julian Stapleton (21) and Colin Hardaway (15) dovetailed to perfection and in a close match won 1 up.
Match 3 paired your Captain (17) with debutant Rob Hartley (14) against Captain Steve (15) and his partner Peter (22). The main features of the match was the length of putts conceded by Steve, 6 feet on at least two holes, and the standard of ball striking from Pete. Out of respect for the home pair and the incredible sportsmanship, the B word was never once uttered, but definitely thought.
In Match 4 you could almost hear the distant cry of "Bill Campbell is coming" as the Enmore pair of Tim and Dave caught our Bill on a very rare good day. Out in 40 gross, despite 3 off the tee on 9, and supported by Mike 'Mr Banter' Stringer, they were 4 up at the turn. Then a mid order collapse, worthy of the England cricket team, let Enmore back to within one on the 16th tee. Consecutive pars for Bill on 16 and 17 closed out the match 3 and 1.
In Match 5 John "Fine Wine" Williams (12) and Alistair "Robot Trolley" Mullineux (21) lost 2 and 1.
In Match 6, Rich Bartin (10) and Bob Smith (20) with Carl (8) and Jim (16) seemed well balanced, with Rich over the moon at getting shots again. The Long Sutton pair started well winning the first, but was quickly pulled back with Carl's birdie on the next. The match was close with the Long Sutton pair marginally leading for most of the way round. The Enmore pair came back in the closing stages and took the lead on the 16th, which they held till the 18th Tee. However, Long Sutton won the last to make it an honourable half. Whilst good golf was played throughout this match, if the golf had been as good as the banter in the 4 ball, this would have been better than the Ryder Cup Match.
The Match 7 pairing of Mike "Cool Dude" Poole (14) and Andy "Quizmaster"Elphick (23) played steady and came out comfortable winners s 4 and 2.
The final pairing of Dave 'Mr Reliable' Kennedy and Rev Robin 'Can you watch my ball' Ewbank had a very enjoyable game against Ray (Arnie Palmer lookalike) from the US of A and partner Chris.
The LS pair were 1 up after 10 holes when Robin ambled up to the ball, guessed where the cup was and with a flick of the wrist, holed a 20 footer for a par 4 at the 11th. The LS pair managed to keep the 2 hole lead for a 2&1 win.
Well, what a great day of golf and, in my experience playing against Captain Steve, arguably the most friendly and generous Captain on the circuit, and his team. Not forgetting the Long Sutton team of 16 who delivered a very welcome win 4.5 to 3.5. Well done team and thanks!