Our first away game of the season; at Studley Wood in Oxfordshire. Last year we had a closely fought contest at The Dyke, we won, but Oxfordshire were out for revenge. Circumstances were against them; this time, they couldn't rely on the services of Bill the Bandit. The big questions are: would home advantage be enough for them to beat the better team? or will we come away with Diddly Squat? Will Harry Potter's magic wand still work? What beer was on offer? Who knows? Who cares?
Ian Potter (Captain) and Nigel Wates (Insurance) went out with Keith Henley (Oxfordshire Captain) and Robin Kennett (Club Captain). Sussex lost Amen Corner, the 14,15 and 16. These holes were pivotal in the match. Harry Potter and Harry Potter failed to win the last hole as their 'Ballio in holio' spell turned into 'bolloxio'. The Captain says it was "all Nigel's fault, and he couldn't take on the home team Captain by himself". Lost 1 Down.
David Balfour and Phil Manser moseyed on down with David Haddock and Stuart Dobbs. Playing against The Lone Ranger and Tonto, who got 14 shots and drove the ball for miles, the Good Ol' Boys were up against it (Tell me more. Ed). In the end, coming back from 5 down, the cowboys won the Bun Fight at the OK Corral and ran the pesky varmints out of town. Won 2up
David Sinden and Joe Angella hosted Alistair Brown and Alan Gray. There was much beseeching of the Gods as we watched our opponents' balls sail into the trees. Praying proved an effective strategy as we helplessly watched their balls return to the centre of the fairway! Matters levelled themselves when the Water Nymphs swam in to help the good guys. In the end, a draw was a fair result. Draw.
Richard Jays and Des Malcolm entertained Simon Berry and Richard Topliss. We played in shorts for the first time this year; that's why Des and I lost (Were they too tight? Ed). We went down early, which pleased our opponents! (Ooh, Matron…Ed) as Richard opened with 5,4,3,4 before Simon parred the next nine holes. The course was playing long (It was the way you played it. Ed) Lost 6&4.
Terry Vanhinsbergh and Colin Prior proved age is no barrier to Rob Daniels (Beer Festival Organiser and Top Bloke) Bill White. There was some magnificent golf, and some terrible stuff too! Sussex managed to lose six holes on the trot (You do know that this is not a good thing? Ed) but still managed to get a half. It was a hilariously funny game. Draw.
Rasoul Shahilow and Mitch Clark laughed their way around with Ben Spiero and David Weston. Despite our opponents relentless sinking of putts, we tried to hold on; alas, they were too good for us. @(Yes, so it would seem. Ed). They were great company, and we loved the course. Lost 2&1.
Ian Jaggard and Nigel 'Puddles' Powell played with Paul Brain and Terry Killick. An eventful game as Jags and Puddles took it to the eighteenth. Nigel did try to put the opposition off by taking his trolley and bag for a swim. He squelched his way around for sixteen holes, but it didn't stop us from winning 1 up.
Brian Street and Andy Plowright took on John Tugwell and Michael Rothery. If you like the sound of fingernails scraping down a blackboard, you would have enjoyed this game. We were hanging on for fourteen holes after going three up after four holes. The greens were great. Won 3&2
Bryan Fairbrass and Ronni Schrevel played with intent against Mike Hussy and Colin Pearson. Brian played and putted exceptionally well; we would have lost heavily if it weren't for his excellence. The course was dry and bouncy, and the opposition played well. Lost 3&2.
Ron Adams and Richard Cowlard saved the day against Ken McIntyre and Nick Bott. Despite taking nearly five hours and giving sixteen shots, we wore Ken and Nick down (You should have hurried up! Ed). It was an entertaining match on an enjoyable course, and we missed the water! Won 4&3.
So, there you have it. Another day, another game and still undefeated. Thank you to Oxfordshire for making us welcome. This was a magical day, made all the better, but not coming back with Diddly Squat!
Beer report, Timothy Taylors Landlord, and they put on a fresh barrel just for us, delicious.
Next up, it is Cornwall at Bognor.