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Three great matches in April

The Society enjoyed three fantastic matches in April. One resulted in a convincing win for us but we came second in the other two. These fixtures also gave us the opportunity to remember a legend of cricket, Derek 'Deadly' Underwood who sadly passed away recently. Deadly was a long-standing and very active member of the Society.

Croham Hurst GC was a our host for the first of these three matches. A last-minute drop out meant that we only fielded 9 with match manager, Martin Butcher, taking on two Croham members on his own, but the result was a resounding victory overall for the Society. It was chilly but bright, the course played very well and the hospitality was, as always, superb. Our thanks to Richard Fawcett in particular for his efforts. At lunch, Society Chairman Tony Pigott paid tribute to Deadly, recalling how often the Kent and England legend seemed to excel playing at Hastings against Sussex. The Society team at Croham Hurst was Martin Butcher, Guy McDonnell, Tony Piggot, Ted Rose, Chris Goldie, Neil Burns, Jon Hardy, Chris Hellings and Melville Guest.

On Sunday 21st April, we were delighted to return to the Royal Mid-Surrey, a course which has suffered greatly from the rains over the winter. This meant that we played the match over a composite course made up of 12 holes from the Outer and 6 from the inner. Nevertheless the golf was competitive, the welcome as warm as always and hospitality first-class. Despite a number of regulars being unavailable, we fielded an excellent side but were unable to compete with the skills of our opponents and lost the match comfortably, avoiding a whitewash thanks to a long putt on the 18th to secure a half in the final group. Our team for the day was Chris Goldie, Guy McDonnell, Bryan Richardson, John Shepherd, Harry Latchman, Mark Feltham, Tim Wren, Jon Hardy, Bill Merry and guest Rich Zotov. It was great to see former Match manager, Ted Clark, for lunch and special thanks as always must go to CCGS member, Richard Peck, for his superb organisation.

Our fixture at Crowborough Beacon was particularly poignant as this is a match that Deadly managed on behalf of the Society for many years. It was very fitting therefore that his old friend and team-mate, John Shepherd, paid his personal and very moving tribute to one of his greatest friends at lunch. The course has suffered a lot from the winter rains but was in very good condition considering. The welcome that we received from the members, many of whom have played in the fixture for many years, was magnificent and the whole day an absolute delight. Many thanks therefore to Tim Wren, managing a CCGS side for the first time, and Charles Tankand of Crowborough for his exceptional organisation. It has been suggested that in future years this match will be played for the Derek Underwood Trophy, a fitting memorial to a great man. We would not have won this year, going down 4-2.

The Society team was Tim Wren, Tony Pigott, John Shepherd, Guy McDonnell, Paul Downton, Paul Parker, Julian Thompson, Jonny Longley, Neil Burns, Jon Hardy, Charlie Rowe and Chris Goldie.

In May we have much to look forward to with our Spring Meeting and fixtures at West Sussex, Ratcliffe Upon Trent, Worksop, Edgbaston and Denham (against the MCC Golf Society).


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