The Tourists enjoyed a full Cornish breakfast before setting out on the short trip from St. Agnes to Perranporth. The overcast sky and breezy conditions were like home from home, so confidence was high. As Cornwall was unable to provide lunch due to catering issues, many of the team stopped off to purchase sandwiches, pasties, crisps etc., from the local shops. This was an expensive exercise for the boys from Highwoods (Andy & Micky), as it included the cost of a parking ticket.
(Ed note: Hardly the famous Cornish hospitality)
Now, Perranporth Golf Club is laid out over very hilly terrain. It is definitely a “Marmite” course; if you love blind holes, you would love it, as it has 16 of them! If you like to see where you are going, then you may, like the author, hate it. Ah well
Without lunch, the gathering in the Clubhouse was thus a little disjointed, but undeterred, Captains Joe and Steve announced the line-ups.
And so, it began…
As is tradition, Captain Joe Angella and partner, new Committee member Andy Plowright were pitted against Cornwall’s Captain Steve Davis (very interesting!) and Dave Lawson. The home team raced into a 3-hole lead, only to be pegged back. Then aided by sinking “massive putts”, they went ahead again. It should be said that during this battle of the front nine, Andy was their only opposition as Joe was still recovering from the previous night’s revels. However, our leader rallied on the back half, scoring 2 birdies and four pars in the last six holes to turn the match around and triumph by 1up! Phew!!
Out second were V/C Ian “Harry” Potter and “Marathon Man” Andy Lamb in a contest with Dave Dungate and Neil Blackburn. (Ed note: Andy is not the Messiah; he is just a very …….). The Sussex boys battled away for the first nine as the local member made the most of his advantage, but he lost his way (unsurprisingly, given the terrain) on the back. Nevertheless, things did not look good for Sussex, being one down with 2 to play, until they produced some MAGIC to win both the last two and record an unlikely 1up victory.
The third encounter saw Mark Terry paired with the evergreen Norman Milburn against Colin Sorbey and Lawrie Sheppard. I say a pair, but in reality, Norman saw more of the Clubhouse loo than the course. He gave a new definition to the term “sprint finish”. As for the golf, Mark did well to establish a 2-hole lead but with the odds against them, Sussex finally succumbed to a 3&2 defeat. It was a good job Norman’s buggy has plastic seats!
In match four, Sussex’s representatives were Dave Balfour and debutant Phil Manser, their opposition provided by Bill Morton and Chris Jennings. Dave clearly loved the requirement to play blind shots from any part of the course, including fairways, whilst regretting that Phil was not a bandit, an accusation levelled at an unnamed Cornishman. Thus, our disgruntled duo suffered a 3&2 loss, which at least meant they were spared the last two holes.
The fifth game had a south-coast flavour as Peter Brookshaw partnered Richard Jays against Jim McKenzie and Mike Rees. A close encounter this one with the lead exchanged several times. Finally, the home side’s putting enabled them to register a 1up victory.
(Ed note: It seemed this group meandered all over the course, but it did mean they found my ball from the match behind!)
Match six-starred IPC Keith Talbot and “Mr Unlucky” Mitch Clark for Sussex versus Mike Martin and Steve Ham for Cornwall. Keith started well building a two-hole lead but was rapidly hauled in, so a one-down situation was evident at the turn. During the front nine, Mitch was still trying to sort out the repairs to his car and organise a hire vehicle to get him home! After several phone calls and £3k poorer, he joined in. The new fully focused but still limping Mitch added his weight to the Sussex cause, which then saw the tourists record two halves and five wins to run out winners 4&2. Pretty good considering how much time Keith spent moaning about the course….
(Ed note: Steve is a Plymouth Argyle fan and an ex-policeman, so has had a tough life all around.)
Seven up featured Tony Bauckham and the multi-talented Nigel Wates (merchandiser, whip-controller, bandit etc.) against Neil Fletcher and local man Tony Pope. The pontiff is a trustee of Perranporth and clearly a very knowledgeable fellow. Due to his tremendous assistance on lines and positions, Tony B breezed through the first six holes in 1 under-par gross!! So, the visitors were five up. The game settled to a more even contest after that, but the residents could not claw back the deficit, leaving our heroes to complete a comprehensive 6&5 victory.
In the ultimate match, Sussex had Micky Grimes with his carer Ken Penfold pitched against Steve Cox and Roger Nicholas for the hosts. This proved to be a highly competitive game, with neither side able to establish more than a 1-hole lead. Mostly it was Micky v Roger, with Ken and Steve playing supporting roles (sometimes!). Eventually, Cornwall won by a head, which was not surprising given Micky’s stature to record a 1up success.
Those of you that have been following my words closely may have just realised that the sum of all this was ……….
FINAL RESULT: CORNWALL 4 SUSSEX 4
Due to the ongoing catering crisis, it was everybody back to our hotel, where Cornwall had organised a buffet. The food was superb comprising pasties, sandwiches, quiche and many other delights. The scones for dessert did lead to arguments as to the merits of the Cornwall v Devon methodology regarding jam and cream. After brief speeches by our Captains, the Cornish lads departed to leave the Sussex Captains to drink late into the night. Well, some of them……
For the benefit of future authors, please note – EVERY match has great company and great banter. Writers need incidents, rows, events, rare wildlife, cheating – anything!!