Once more, after a few days of good weather, dawn broke on a Bamburgh friendly match day to the sound of gentle rain. Fortunately, the rain stopped and despite a bad forecast we remained dry.
Foxton has a lovely course, a complete contrast to Bamburgh, and it's always a pleasure to play. Our match was very close - we were three down at the turn, but gradually clawed it back, thanks more to Dick Little than myself, managing to win the 17th to go all square and then their Captain and myself parring the 18th to halve. The next four matches were alternate wins so it all depended on the last match. The tension didn't seem to mount much, however, with everyone remaining settled in the bar until they heard that Foxton had won to retain the winner's salver.
(We have two salvers in the Foxton match: the original was temporarily lost a few years ago so Bill Robson and Ian Patterson, respective captains, bought a replacement. The orginal promptly turned up behind a cupboard at Bamburgh so the new one became the runners up trophy).
The result followed my "Robert Green" moment when I shanked my ball into my partners trolley, so losing the hole. Humiliating. But all you can do is move on. And not pick yourself for the team?
These friendly matches are very enjoyable but it has proved increasingly difficult to get a team. Partly I think this is because they are all day, partly because there are too many too close together and they come in the middle of the season when people are already busy. I discussed this with the Foxton captain and we are going to look at ways of adjsuting the fixture to make sure it survives.
Update: a close check of the rule book shows that since 2008 I could hit my partners equipment (accidentally) with no impact on him, and only a penalty stroke for me, rather than lose the hole. Had we known that we would have won our match and halved the fixture 6-6. Moral: know the rules. And take a rule book with you.