The season is now in full swing. Last Thursday, Sussex headed off to West Hove for the first home match of the season. With our boys undefeated, the mood was positive. As we warmed up at the bar, we welcomed some new faces to the team and renewed old friendships.
Somerset had turned up a man short, and Peter Ward stepped in to fill the breach. At least this meant that we could play in four balls. Those of you who know Tarzipan are aware that it doesn’t matter which team he plays for; he is always trying to win. More on this later.
Our thanks also go to Norman Milburn, who once again has stepped up to fill in for a sudden withdrawal. This meant we had two West Hove players turning out for us. Our normal practice is only having the home club Captain in a team so as not to gain an unfair advantage.
As for Somerset, they were on the first leg of a mini-tour, playing Surrey on the following day. They discovered that Sussex roads are not in the best nick, with several of their team being delayed by the roadworks. A couple of their guys almost missed the chips; not the best of starts.
Lee Bonaldi (West Hove Club Captain) and our Captain, Joe Angella, took on Rob Ford (Captain) and Roy Parmiter. As you would expect, the company was delightful. Roy got off to a cracking start, birdieing the first before going two up. Sussex got stuck in and, by virtue of some good putting, took the turn one up. Although they battled hard, Somerset couldn’t get back into it. Lee was great company, and he was always eager to offer helpful advice on where to go, although we were never sure if he’d ever played the course. The 3 &2 Win flattered Sussex and disappointed Somerset.
Colin Prior and super-sub Norman Milburn took on Dave Andow and former SGC Captain Peter Ward. This was an exciting game, played against friendly guests, and it was a close contest, with never more than one in it. Tarzipan was playing for the opposition, and despite instructions from the Sussex Captain, he was trying to win! Sussex ran out winners, 1 Up.
Paul Warley and Chris Adamson took on Paul Middleton and Phil Barrett. Paul was an SGC Match virgin, and he was delighted to play. Chris says that the Captain picked him as a good partner, and they had a great game. There were many smiles, some of the joy and some through gritted teeth. West Hove was an enjoyable and well-presented course, which is nice to know. Sussex won 4&3.
Steve Dillamore and Richard Bevan played Colin Davies and Glynn Sewell. Always keen to look on the bright side of things, the best comment that Steve and Richard could come up with was, “It didn’t Rain!”, which is true. They added that the course was in great condition, the greens were pretty fast, and their opponents played better than them, handling the windy conditions better than they did. Hats off to Colin and Glynn. (This is more of a weather report. Ed) Sussex lost 5&3.
Mitch Clark and Ronni Schrevel faced Chris Warcup and Mike Howe. Mike and Chris were a tough pair to shake off. Giving 13 shots was tough. Mitch says, ‘losing my range finder on the 17th was tough. Apparently, the company is great fun. Although, it seems that it was a tough day as Sussex lost 1 Down. Despite a background in accountancy, where a facility with numbers is considered a plus and having played the course many times, Mitch managed to drive off in the wrong direction! Tough luck, Mitch! (Note to self, buy Mitch a Thesaurus for Xmas)
Andy Plowright and Bill Milford took on Geoff Rooke and Nick Prince. “What a thrill,” said Andy. After nearly being hit by his playing partner and the plus handicapper on the 4th tee and the 14th green, Sussex got their game together. It was close until the match in front went from the 12th tee to the 15th green, and we couldn’t stop laughing. Eventually, 3’s on 16 and 17 meant that Sussex won 2&1. (Note to self, buy Mitch an Atlas from Xmas).
Our most formidable pairing, Nigel Wates and Craig Millyard faced Stephen Butterfield and Murray Parsons. This was Nigel’s first visit to West Hove, where he was ably guided by the skills of jet-lagged Craig. Stephen and Murray had not seen the course before and, despite that, were good company (?). Sussex won 3&1.
Finally, Peter Hawley and Mike Rham took on John Beer and Jeff Saunders. It was a pleasure to play with John and Jeff, says the match report. Mike had plenty of advice for everyone, but it didn’t stop the Sussex pair from getting off to a great start, soon going 4 Up. Somerset fought back well but couldn’t recover from the bad start. Sussex ran out winners, 2 Up.
The overall result was a 6 - 2 win to Sussex.
So, in summary, we remain undefeated. This was a comfortable win on a benign day. The Somerset guys are great company and a pleasure to play with. It was nice to welcome some new faces to the team matches; I hope this trend continues.
I’d also like to thank Norman Milburn and Tarzipan for standing in at short notice; it is appreciated.
Now, for the food report. The principal beer on draught was Harvey’s Best, and it was cracking nick. A lovely bright pint. The Somerset boys seemed to be enjoying it immensely. The chips were good, nice and golden with a soft fluffy centre. The carvery was filling, but the star of the show was the dessert trolley. Chef had outdone himself. All the puddings were homemade; there was Apple Pie, Bread Pudding, Treacle Tart, Banoffee Pie, Tiramisu and Eton Mess. Tbh, I could have forgone the main course and dined on the pudding!
There you have it, another win, another great day out, and there was a lot of fun had by everyone.