They play for a ‘trophy’ that’s nearly a century old, with a shaft made of hickory and a head of iron, a favourite with yesteryear legends including golf’s most successful-ever amateur and 13-times Major champion Bobby Jones.
But it’s not the “Mashie” – the old-time equivalent of a current day five-iron - presented to the winners of Leighton Buzzard golf club’s annual match against the Seniors that’s the prize: it’s the bragging rights the winners enjoy for the following 12 months.
And Club Captain Adrian Stephenson has that honour this year after his side recovered from two early setbacks to win 4-3, with one game halved.
Seniors captain Robbie John and Kelvin Young took the scalp of Adrian and Mick Francis and Will Sampson and Geoff Allatt toppled Ed Stephenson and Mark McLoughlin before Tim Martin and Simon Thornton pulled one back against Steve King and Danny Nairne. Dave Debell and Fred Ritchie nudged the seniors into the 3-1 lead with a win over Derek Richards and Terry Jordan and with Graham Avery and Keith Camp sharing the spoils against David Coleman and Michael Loot, the game was evenly poised. But the club team powered home with a hat-trick of wins by Steve Gillett and Chris Read over Dave Kingham and |Keith Oddie, Derek Lindley and Simon Rossiter against Rob Tate and Andy Pickering and Brian Wilson and John Smith securing the win over HarryAdam and Patrick Quinlan.
Skipper Stephenson copped a second win days leter, his team beating Bedfordshire Police 4-2. Ken Wilson was on top form as he and his skipper got Leighton off to a flying start, with further wins by Phil Coumbe and Steve Light, Martin Price and Mike Smith and Tony Russell and vice captain John Smith. Brian Carter and Peter Myrants secured a half, while Andy McDonald and David Roffe and Derek Lindley and David Nero were booked for loitering.
Ben Hazell, Oli Mortimer, Gary Bennett and Dan Lamont teamed up to win the club Millennium Texas scramble with a nett 52.65; Kate Wright, Stuart Leslie, Peter Taylor and Steve DeNisi were runners-up with a nett 53.35 and Dave Hanley, Steve Molyneaux, Gary Reid and Alistair Saunders were third with a nett 53.90, pipping Tony Russell, Ian Kempsall, Andy Walton and Peter Morgan, and Paul Dowdeswell, Shaun and Jan Harries and Eddie Edwards.
Farida Cerosio won Leighton Ladies Silver Division May stableford with 32 points, a shot clear of Sandra Bellis; Lynn Newnham beat Vice Captain Avril Simpson for top spot in Bronze”A” on countback after both finished with 32 points, and Betty Bluett won the Bronze “B” competition with 31 points, four clear of Sue Preston. ,
Leighton Ladies beat Aylesbury Vale in their Shield match, but lost against Mount Pleasant.
Retired works director John Tarbox shot his age to win a Midweek Medal competition at Leighton, his nett 68 earning him a one-shot reduction in his handicap. Tom Day was the Division One runner-up with a nett 70, two shots clear of George Sadowski and Will Sampson.
The Division Two top spot was bagged by Welshman Ron Pearce, his nett 70 beating vet Graham Richmond by a shot, with Richard Lancaster, Andrew McDonald and John Smith and Joe Berry heading a chasing pack.
Transport boss Paul Ellam won the stableford event with 39 points, one clear of Division One rival Phil Coumbe with Shane Bentley and Will Koch both finishing with 37 points.
The Division Two competition was won by Peter Townley whose 39 points beat Daniel Hill on countback, with Andres Valentine, Brian Hurley and Daniel Latimer all finishing with 38 points.