Match report:When we first heard that we were going to Paultons we were rather surprised, but it turned out to be a very pleasant golf course with some testing holes and in excellent condition. The greens were rather "nappy" so putts did not roll out and it accentuated the borrow near the hole. The Hampshire captain and I lost track of the number of putts that stopped an inch short.
It was one of those matches that when they went through the eighth tee it looked like a 6/4 victory for us. After the fourteenth maybe 5 ½ / 4 ½ to us. After the sixteenth with John Nash and Campbell Boal both one down with two to play I was keeping my fingers crossed for 5/5. However both of them came through with halved matches and as you can see we managed our first win of the season relegating Hampshire to the wooden spoon position in the league.
The league this year has been strange. Last year Sussex lost every match and yet this year they won every match and the league, even beating Kent by the unheard of margin of 8 ½ - 1 ½. Last year Hampshire beat us to win the league and yet this year they have lost three and only halved one. Will fortune smile on Dorset next year?
The morning had Somerset and Gloucestershire both on 3 points and Dorset along with Wiltshire on 2 points each. Dorset rallied in the afternoon taking all but a half point giving them a total of 6.5 which was soon equalled by Gloucestershire who then won the playoff at the second extra hole when the Dorset player sadly over hit his approach and went out of bounds.
We wish Gloucestershire all the best at the finals in Bedfordshire.
A good result overturning last year's home defeat by the same margin. The course is a maturing parkland on the Somerset levels. The greens had been recently tined and the dressing washed in giving a good surface but two days of heavy rain made them very soft.
The Dorset team gelled well with good team spirit. Brian Medlam birdied four of the first six holes in a welcome return to form. There were no complaints about the course, very acceptable for a friendly match, or the excellent carvery that followed.
The Somerset captain had to make 30 calls to get a team of twelve whilst the ongoing Dorset Seniors successes mean that we have no such problems. All in all a very satisfactory result.
Somerset have since withdrawn from the Friendly match due to fixture congestion.
The forecast was for possible showers but the weather held very well although very humid. The course was in good condition and we always get on very well with the Wiltshire team. Unfortunately we were just a little too kind to them this year and they reversed the result we had when we beat them at KIngsdown. They are now the holders of the Jock Laurence Memorial Quaich. After remembering Frank Small who had sadly died on the way home from Lanhydrock we enjoyed a very sociable and excellent meal.
Torrential rain as the team approached Exeter suggested that the match might not be played. However the elements relented and a fine seesaw match ensued with first Devon and then Dorset having the upper hand. The end result was a very fair draw. The course was good and very green as Exeter has been having plenty of rain unlike the Bournemouth area. As always both teams enjoyed a sociable meal together.
Match report:This was another very disappointing result as so many in our team had played in the County Seniors' Championship at Broadstone the week before and should have know the course much better than their opponents, some of whom had never seen the course before. Doug Pratt, our President, had come to support us and together he and I watched everybody go through the 7th when the match was very even. We then went to the 13th and although it was still evenly poised it was obvious that their short game was much better than ours. Seven of their team got up and down in two from off the green four times winning the hole when it looked as though we would. Two from the bunker above the hole, two from very bad lies in the heather long left, two from three or four yards long and one who had run onto the 14th tee. Then at least three of our team bogied the 18th to either halve or lose the hole. That was very bad match play on one of the easier holes on the course and in the end it led to this result.
Broadstone continues to be in very good condition and afterwards the teams enjoyed a very convivial and excellent meal.
Captain's Report: Having started the season with high hopes we lost three of our better players within less than three weeks of this match, two with unavoidable business commitments and one to health problems. Thus we travelled to Chislehurst the day before for a practise round with a weaker team and to make matters worse during the night John Nash our number one man was taken ill and could not play. That meant that as the only one left I had to fill that last spot. I would like to thank Phil Addis, Brian Hansford and Mike Mudford all of whom stepped in at short notice and performed very well.
Chislehurst is a very strange quite hilly little golf course being only 5,119 yards long with several holes criss crossing each. There are two par fives and eight par threes. The sun shone and the condition of the course was excellent with good greens, fast downhill and rather slow uphill. Kent as usual had a very strong side and although several of the matches were close they were too good for us this time, in fact they made it very clear that they were still smarting from having lost to us last year and were determined to get their revenge. Afterwards we enjoyed a sociable meal with some very nice roast beef and probably the best bread and butter pudding that I had ever had.
Match report: A very, very disappointing result. It will be a real struggle to win the league now. Parkstone was in very good condition and the weather was great but they played better than we did. John Gordon had an interesting introduction to top seniors' golf when he birdied the first three holes only to go one down after four because his opponent birdied the first four. However he birdied the ninth to even things up and eventually prevailed. David Lock seemed to be cruising along nicely at three up but drifted backwards over the last few holes. David Topp was one up after twelve but the redoubtable Bernard Yates birdied both thirteen and fourteen to take control. One bright spot was the return of Campbell Boal with a good win over the ex world squash champion.
Next up is the match against Kent so I hope we do better.