Tony Tuckwood had remarked the week before that, after years of taking part in these matches he had never lost – but as Ponteland member as well, he was often criticised for this. From that moment he was earmarked as my partner: if he kept his record, I’d win; if I dragged him down to my level then at least he could hold his head high at Ponteland again.
We had a good team of people, with unusually two or three on the reserve list who could have played. The running order was basically semi-officials first and then the likely winners last, and that is how it proved to be. After a tight game (tight only in the sense that after Chris Forster’s par golf we were 5 down after 9; although we did manage to get back to 2 under, we lost on the 16th) we sat in the warm afternoon sun (what DID happen to the weather last Sunday?) and watched the teams come in. The first three matches lost, then we won a couple, then one each, so it all depended on the last match - which Chris Hall and Sean McFaul duly won.
A draw then, a good result for a friendly, especially as we retained the trophy because we had won last time. The weather was great and the team selection worked. The conversation in our group about the future of golf clubs was interesting: we can sometimes forget how lucky we are to have a waiting list at a time when golf club membership is falling (at a rate of about 7.5% a year in our area).
Worthy of note: Ponteland were hosting the 100th birthday party of one of their members, Norman Bains, still a regular visitor to the club. We passed on our congratulations.