LUGS v DUGS Friday 11 March 2022 Royal St George’s
LUGS’ last game before lockdown had been against the DUGS at Sandwich and so the return of Trinity’s finest to the Kent links marked what we all hoped to be the bookending to the worst effects of the virus. That said, Thursday’s news was that Barry Grundy had tested positive leaving Captain Conway with two problems: how to replace the talismanic dentist, so often the fixture’s MVP; and who to enlist to tell the legendary Cliff Richards joke?
There is no end to the resilience of the Conway brothers though and John took matters in his stride as he glided effortlessly around the course in the pre-game warmup, plotting his revised pairings as he went.
Beneath the imposing portrait of Laidlaw Purves, the club’s founder, the teams had an excellent pre game dinner on Thursday evening. After fine speeches from Aidan Walsh, this year’s DUGS captain, and ‘Pep’ Yeandle, master LUG tactician, we had two very welcome surprise turns. The first, from John Conway, was an invitation to the marvellous Lahinch Golf Club for next year’s fixture; the second, from Jonathan Lavelle, was a proposal on how to fund the cost of the trip. Absent an analysis of the rugby from the much missed Michael Gibson, Jonathan gave us the inside track on who to back at Cheltenham!
The master selection of the morning series proved to be Paddy O’Sullivan and Dermot O’Grady who won comfortably in the country against a lacklustre Peter Dyson and John Sugden. It is said that there are no more than six degrees of separation between any of us – but watching the DUGS progress comfortably through the gears, it was difficult to believe that the immaculately turned out Paddy – thrice polished shoes, immaculately tailored plus fours, crushed olive cashmere jumper – could be anywhere near that closely related to Dermot – Manchester United bobble hat, painting dungarees, moth eaten waterproof.
Nevertheless LUGS lunched 4-2 ahead, the consequence of some gritty performances in the final stages of some closely contested matches. Could they hang on to win the match?
Close contests prevailed all afternoon with all bar one match reaching the last hole. The ‘shoe shine’ game was won by DUGS Aidan Neill and Fran Quilty who just managed to squeeze past Nick Page and Mark Conway. But, bringing up the rear, Alastair Wells and John Sugden managed to halve their match giving LUGS the win.
A marvellous fixture and a marvellous day!
Jeremy Smith/Mike Kershaw vs Aidan Neill/Aidan Walsh D 2/1
Mark Conway/Neil Falconer 2/1 vs Mark Murnane/Fran Quilty
Jon Lavelle/James Bull 1up vs Huntly Lauder/Tommy Bracken
George Yeandle/Nick Page 3/2 vs Nick Dillon/John Conway
Peter Dyson/John Sugden vs Paddy O’Sullivan/Dermot O’Grady 8/7
Alastair Wells/Joe Ward 6/5 vs Roddy Conway/Darragh Garrahy
Nick Page/Mark Conway vs Aidan Neill/Fran Quilty 2/1
Mike Kershaw/Neil Falconer vs Mark Murnane/Nick Dillon 2/1
Jon Lavelle/Jeremy Smith 1up vs Aidan Walsh/Huntly Lauder
James Bull/Peter Dyson 1up vs Tommy Bracken/Roddy Conway
George Yeandle/Joe Ward vs Dermot O’Grady/Darragh Garrahy 6/5
Alastair Wells/John Sugden AS vs Paddy O’Sullivan/John Conway AS
LUGS beat DUGS 6.5-5.5