It was a needle match - the First Round of the GC Inter-Club Championships and we had been drawn away (a significant factor, see later) against Phyllis Court.
By dint of careful management by the club manager (take a bow Chris W), we were able to field one of our stronger teams (Ralph Allim, Ian Shore, Paul Gunn, Geoff Johnson) with an aggregate handicap of -2. However, Phyllis Court were able to raise a team with an aggregate handicap of -4, so we knew we had our hands full!
The format for the match was a doubles pairing plus two singles in the morning and 4 singles in the afternoon, all matches being played as best of three, with teams being fielded in DGrade order.
The day started a bit scrappily (the fact it was the first competition in the season showed) in light drizzle. By lunchtime, the weather had improved somewhat as had the quality of play to the extent that the teams were level pegging, with Paul winning his crucial singles match and the doubles game drawn at one game a piece. A minor feature of the morning was an exploration of one of the lesser used GC rules - that for overlapping play.
After a hospitable lunch in the clubhouse, the various singles games showed everyone had raised their game (adjusting from the relatively level lawns at High Wycombe to the more exacting surface at Phyllis Court) some close and challenging matches developed. The play was exciting enough to attract a range of spectators. Under their gaze it was gratifying that High Wycombe won every afternoon match to bring the score to an unassailable 5.5 to 1.5 lead to High Wycombe, meaning there was no need to play the deciding doubles match. During play some fiery tactics were a feature of the lead players, while others showed a certain dexterity of stroke could also be a winning formula. Man of the Match was Paul Gunn, starting the season as he means to continue.
The win means that High Wycombe goes through to the next round to play either Ashby or Watford - date TBD.