What better way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning than at the famous Roehampton Club.
A club wonderfully designed using all the space available in a very busy part of South London.
Great condition, great company, and an even better team.
A club that drew with the Surrey 1st team earlier in the year and only last week won the Southern Counties Scratch League final.
Probably the toughest test we'll face all year.
We all knew, this was going be a hard team to beat.
So we went to work, filled up on bacon sandwiches, put on a few extra layers to combat the early Autumn conditions, and headed to the first tee.
Out first was the self-acclaimed postman Phil Brittain and former Banstead team mate John Sharp.
Despite playing well, sadly the home partnership of Scott Stanley and Niels Verbeek were just too good for them winning 2&1.
Second saw veteran John Cassidy and new Surrey A Team player Mike Lazer take on the mighty Andy Ingles and Simon Butler.
Once again, Andy's frustrating short game and overall cunningness was too good for the visiting opposition winning down the last.
Out 3rd playing against a couple of old adversaries in Roehampton Captain Colin Rae and the highly talented Louis Tydeman, James Molyneux and I started quickly. So quickly that Roehampton Captain Colin Rae (who sadly couldn't play in the afternoon fourballs) turned to me walking towards the 8th tee 6 down and said "I'm not sure how much of the back nine I'm going to see today!"
Finally a morning result went Surrey's way as we won 5&3.
My final pair and 'dream team' was the very solid Ben Palmer and steady Keith Collins.
They faced Roehampton’s new boy and Surrey 1st team player Alex Tonge playing with Brian Crotty.
While Alex played steady, Brian holed everything through the front nine building up a lead Ben and Keith couldn't keep with.
So as they shook hands on the 17th, Surrey headed to Lunch 3-1 down!
The afternoon saw 4 groups of fourballs rather than the usual singles at the choice of the home team.
This meant only 4 points were available and we needed them all!
A tough ask against a strong side..... Still, the sun was now shinning and course warming up..... Now to get the golf to warm up too!
Out first for Surrey saw Ben Palmer and John Sharp pitted against Brian Crotty and Scott Stanley.
As Ben's 2 iron into the par 5 9th was conceded for eagle to go 4 under for the front nine, an early win looked possible!
His continued great golf led to a great match winning 2up on the last.
James Molyneux, this time paired with Mike Lazer played fantastic all day.
This was showcased with a lipped out tee shot on the tough 220 yard par 3 17th while 1 down, and a great halved match up the last.
Phil Brittain, who had been demoted from 'Postman' to 'FedEx' following his lose in the morning, was out with myself in the third group.
This time against the every steady Andy Ingles and Niels Verbeek.
Phil, who was out to deliver, stuffed his opening wedge to 2 feet for a birdie and continued his steady play throughout the round.
Fighting with an increasingly painful injury, I needed Phil's help to keep Andy and Niels at bay while I helped where I could.
Finally, back to back birdies at 9 and 10 then again at 12 saw us edge a lead.
Then it was the home teams turn as they birdied 13, 14 and I have no idea how Niels putt didn't drop on 15!
A couple of steady shots into 16 and 17 and the game was won 2&1 in our favour.
As we walked down the last, the group behind was already done. Alex Tonge and Simon Butler had gelled brilliantly together for Roehampton winning 5&4 against the visiting Surrey pair of John Cassidy and Keith Collins.
At least this meant an afternoon result for Surrey winning the Fourballs 2 ½ to 1 ½.
Surrey 3 ½ Roehampton 4 ½
A fantastic match was had by all with every game played in fantastic spirits.
Roehampton really are one of the very best teams to play and enjoy.
A special thanks to Colin and his team as every Surrey player told me afterwards how much they enjoyed Roehampton's company. 👏👏👏
Surrey A Team Captain
If you would like to be considered for the A Team please follow this link and leave your details.