How quickly these games come around, this is match 4 in our series of inter-county matches. The stout Yeomen of Sussex mustered for the drive to The Army Club in Hampshire. As many of you know, this is a lovely golf course. Tree-lined parkland with generous fairways and beautiful scenery. It is no wonder that so many of you were keen to play here.
Once there, we were warmly welcomed by the match manager, Paul Mantell and the club Captain Kevin Gurney. Not only does the clubhouse boast two real ale hand pumps, but the kitchen was also keen to put on a show. Hampshire tried to lull us with Ham, two eggs, chips and a roll to go with the beer, Needless to say, the stout Yeomen lived up to their name and tucked in.
Kevin Gurney (AC Captain) and George Harris (Hampshire Captain) took on Geoff Dyckes and our Captain, Joe Angella. It is always difficult to play against the local club Captain; they know the course inside and out and are playing a lot of golf, which makes them good value off their handicap. In this case, Sussex got off to a good start, playing some excellent golf and were two up at the turn. But Kevin and George used their shot holes well, meaning we needed to make birdies for a half, which was not an easy ask. Sussex lost 2 &1.
Rasoul Shahilow and Stuart Wallace went up against Brian Homersham (Hampshire President) and Paul Mantell. As you would expect, the game was played in good spirits, full of fun and laughter. The Sussex pair dovetailed well. The course was an absolute joy to play (It was. Ed.) Paul and Brian were good hosts, and we enjoyed the free beer, said Rasoul. This was Rasoul’s first Sussex Captains Match, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. Sussex won 2&1.
Shaun Anderson and Brian Street faced an uphill task, playing against two Hampshire stars, Martin Naptin and Geoffrey Rushbrook, playing off 3 and 8, respectively. Martin knocked the pill round in gross level par, which Brian claimed was "a joy to watch". Needless to say, Hampshire ran out easy winners. Apparently, the company was great. Sussex lost 5&4.
Nigel Evans and Alan Butcher squared up to Graham Light and Paul Keefe. This was a tight match. The result hinged on Nigel making a 40ft putt that turned the game in Sussex’s favour. It was a nice course but we struggled on the greens (?) (just not from 40 ft. Ed) It was very enjoyable, and Sussex won 2&1.
Peter Ward (Tarzipan) and Bryan Fairbrass took on Mike Kelly and Neil Dalton. This was a very enjoyable match which was all square after nine. Sussex managed to win 15 and 16 before halving 17 to record a 2/1 victory. It was played in a very friendly spirit, which is how to play golf (Correct. Ed) Sussex won 2&1.
IPC Keith Talbot and Harold Knight took on Ian Hibberd and Adrian Nicol. The tone was set when Andy’s second shot bounced on the bridge before his third went in and out of a bunker. The Sussex Boys eventually lost the hole! The match settled down to an exchange of wins, with Eamon (?) making the most of his shots. Keith was three over gross by the halfway house, and Sussex still lost. The tea and cake at the hut failed to revive Keith’s fortunes. Harold played steadily throughout, although he forgot to take his tea as they left the hut; he later picked up when he was still in the hole before holing a monster putt. Eamon (who is this Eamon of whom you speak? Ed) continued to play steadily. Eventually, they wore our heroes down. Sussex lost 4&3. Keith noted that they did win the last three holes (Is that not a bit late? Ed)
Des Malcolm and Nigel Wates had the joy of paying Idris Vernall (Tie Seller extraordinaire) and Paul Child. Nigel claims that ‘teaming up with Des was a real treat. For a first-time pairing, we managed to dovetail well. Idris was recovering from a bout of food poisoning and Covid, but he and Peter were great company. Nigel bought spare hats, jackets, jumpers, and balls but, alas, no spare ties! Sussex won 5&4, and Des didn’t lose a ball.
Peter Rodger and David Sinden were up against Brian Knight and Derek Mayes. Playing with David was a pleasure, claims Peter. The two Hampshire Captains were a great pair, and Sussex ran out easy winners. We’d like to thank the Army Club for a great experience (winning? Ed) the course was fantastic, and thanks to Derek and Brian for a great game. Sussex won 5&4.
Our Vice, Ian Potter, partnered Ron Adams against Andy Holt and Roger Corkhill. What a start by Andy, birdie, birdie, but the match was back to level after 6, then Roger (26 h/cap) got a 3 net 2 at the 7th, meaning that Hampshire led at the turn. It was back to level at the 12th (This is exciting stuff. Ed), and then Harry Potter worked his magic, winning 14,15 and 17. Sussex won 3&1.
Finally, Richard Jays and Phil Boole played with Eamonn Shiels and Barry Stevens. Richard says they are a lovely couple. The Sussex boys were very impressed with the course, and they thoroughly enjoyed playing in the woods with Eamon and Barry. Sussex won 3&1.
The overall result was a 7 - 3 win to Sussex.
Once again, Sussex was valiant on the field of battle. This was a brilliant day; the course was superb, the company superlative and the welcome warm and friendly. Everything past Captains is about.
Now, people will say that the score doesn’t matter; it is the taking part that counts…but…
One event of note relates to Nigel Wates. For those that do not know, Nigel is our Merchandise Manager. He is the one that deals with your orders. For example, he had bought a tie, as requested, for Ron Adams. A very efficient service.
You can imagine his chagrin when in dressing for dinner, he discovered he was sans tie. No problem; Idris was more than happy to sell him a Hampshire tie at a very reasonable rate. No one noticed, at least not until Joe made him stand up after dinner and share his shame with everyone. Well done, Nigel!
Over the course of the afternoon, it was clear that many of the same phrases were being used around the course. As you can see from the pictures, the Army Club is tree-lined, and being out of position is easy to do. Here are some of the most common phrases we heard during the match.
“I’ll pick up.”
“I’ve seen it come out… that’s a mystery; I’m sure I saw it come out.”
“That’s a good line in…out of there.”
“Your line is on the big green tree….”
“Don’t worry; you won’t reach the ditch….oh..sorry!”
“I’ll pick up.”
As for the food report, finishing the day with a spicy steak and kidney pie, strawberry and custard tart followed by some cheese and biscuits was the perfect end to a perfect day.