Dorset v Sussex at Yeovil 2019

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

As the Sussex Captains began the long trek to the far side of Dorset, the sun shone brightly in a clear blue sky. Three, or in Nigel’s case four, hours later, we arrived at Yeovil Golf Club to seek our first win of 2019.

Captain Phil Williamson and Dorset Captain Bill announced the teams after a hearty welcome by Home Captain John, followed by the standard lunch of sandwiches and chips in our playing groups. 

As ever in this fixture,the sub-plot was the contest between Vice-Captain Keith Talbot and his father-in-law Ken Grout for family honour. It was around this point that Phil Burley wistfully remembered seeing his jacket and tie hanging on the back of his door at home ……..

And so, it began…

As is tradition, Captain Phil was out first with his cannily selected partner Nigel Powell. Clearly Dorset saw the threat, so gave Phil a scorecard for the wrong course! 

Nigel had his course planner from 1984 which they encouraged him to use, claiming little had changed – well not much, an odd bunker here and there. Despite their wiles, our dynamic duo played well and ran out worthy winners 3&2. 

In Match 2, Sussex was represented by President Ian Wood and Dorset exile Peter Snook. Faced by two home-based Captains, things got off to a tricky start as the President drove into the trees. Gradually Steve and David’s local knowledge paid dividends and our chaps succumbed to an inglorious 3&2 defeat.   

And so, to the third game, which featured Sussex’s engine room pairing of Alan Butcher and Richard ‘Jayzee’ Jays. Although our lads played some fine golf, they could not shake off the Dorset boys, especially when losing a par 3 to a net birdie!

Thus, a closely fought contest finished all square – honours even. 

Fourth up were old stagers, Brian Street and Peter Rodger who were still feeling the effects of the long journey. Two down after two holes, and with prospects looking bleak, our heroes rallied winning six holes in quick succession. But the effort proved too much, and, as they flagged, back came Dorset’s Alan and Peter to level the tie after the 17th. A halved 18th, left the match all square – a fair result given the effort from both sides. 

Match 5 saw Joe ‘Awesome’ Angella linking up with Sussex’s ever reliable Rod England. Dorset fielded Tim and Tom the latter receiving 19 shots from MrA., so his “A” game was needed. Despite having announced over lunch that his putting was awful, Tim proceeded to hole monster ones in the early holes.Undaunted, Sussex’s middle order stalwarts continued to play solid golf and finally moved ahead in the closing holes to register a well-deserved 2&1 victory. 

The 6th contest featured the afore-mentioned family duel with Keith teamed up with Immediate Past Captain Peter Ward and Ken with local man and County President Eddie Galjaard. (Pete had recently made Ken’s 85th birthday cake so we thought that might be worth a “gimmie” or two – WRONG!). The early holes were even, the highlight being Pete’s birdie on the 2nd, holing out from1ft!!  Success at the 8th and 9th saw Sussex turn two up, by which time Eddie was in full flow exchanging banter at every opportunity. Un-deterred, Pete then generated another couple of wins to finally close out the tie in Sussex’s favour 3&2 to Keith’s delight. Hopefully Ken will take it in good spirit …

In the penultimate game, Sussex were represented by Mitch Clark and John Boniface, the latter another of our Sussex exports. Facing them were Dorset’s John Hall and Jack (Davey?) Crocket, handicaps being very similar. Unsurprisingly, the match proved to be a close encounter, everything even at halfway. Then Dorset turned on the power, Sussex imploded, and the Home team cantered to a 4&3 success.  

The final encounter saw a rejuvenated Ian Jaggard paired with Phil Burley in what turned out to be the dream team. Apparently, the Dorset combo of John and Rick were unable to match the “ruthless form” of our chaps who went 5 up after 6 holes. The contest? finished on the 11th, Sussex winning 9&7 – amazing!!

(Rumour has it that John is 87 and Rick has just started playing again after a long bout of illness but nevertheless …….).


The post-match dinner was a fine steak pie followed by bread and butter pudding. 

(Editor’s note: what happened to the advertised sticky toffee pudding or lemon roulade?). Then we had the traditional addresses from both Captains, an emotional Bill indicating that it had not gone well for Dorset. Phil nearly disguised his delight at recording a victory before we all headedhome on various routes, a long night ahead of us.   

Keith Talbot