Quintin Payne Cook – David Taylor. – Downes Crediton – John Fairman – Keith Parnall Exeter
At last the final of the inauguraL 4bbb county wide match play was able to be played. A combination of unavailability and Covid had caused several postponements previously. Unfortunately this is also the time of year when some courses implement the very necessary course maintenance programme, and so it was at Stover! However, that was totally accepted by our four finalists and for the first four holes they all managed to overcome a couple of temporary greens and top dressed main greens. Then the threatened rain began to fall, moderate to heavy showers initially and then, from the ninth onward, some particularly unpleasant steady rain without any break.
The Captain, Graham Heaman, and I tried to offer support and encouragement to all the players from the relative shelter of a buggy and stayed with the match until the resultant deciding hole, the seventeenth. Considering the conditions there was some good golf from all players and the deciding factor was possibly the difficulty with each player’s short game around the temporary greens, just off these greens wet shaggy grass which was extremely difficult from which to play delicate chips.
All players must be congratulated on the good natured spirit and sportsmanship in which the match was played, exemplary ! As John Fairman commented on the day, the match was probably saved by the temporary greens for several of the back 9 main greens were waterlogged and impossible to obtain relief. The winners have already declared to enter next year to defend their title, the runners up also issuing their intent to try and go one better next year. Early in the New Year I will open the competition for 2022 entry and look forward to another good entry from all quarters of the county.