Bath Double Success at Budleigh

October 9th 2023

The Short Lawns Tournament at Budleigh Salterton is always the last competitive event of the summer season, and this year it coincided with a glorious patch of “Indian summer” over the weekend 6th-8th October. The skies were deep blue, the lawns were crisply green and perfect, and the sunlight twinkled on the waters of Lyme Bay below.

Twenty-six teams had been entered, several SWF clubs having more than one in the mix. We had only managed to send one last year – the ‘Bath Salts’, who were now in Division 3, playing on the Saturday. The ‘Bath Buns’ therefore had to re-join the party down in Division 5, playing on the Friday against five other teams. This meant starting out very early for a 9.30 start, and playing five 80 minute games, double-banked on half-lawns, finishing with the sun very low in the sky at just before 6pm. Philip de Glanville (SC 0.5) and Neil Pinker (SC 2.5) played in the fifth ‘must-win’ round, while Lynne Passfield (SC 6) and Tony Jackson (SC 6) loyally stayed on and watched; they had each been given an unexpected W/O when four players from the two teams from Lym Valley decided to concede and go home early!

Both Lynne and Tony had a very good day, winning 4 out of their 5 games. As a result Lynne’s handicap has dropped to SC 5. Neil also came out ahead, winning 3 out of 5, though his loss in the final round put Philip under considerable pressure; being seriously ‘under-bisqued’, he felt, he had won only 1 game thus far. However, with the support of his watching team-mates, he found a brief return of form against the now demoralised captain of ‘Lym Valley B’, ensuring that the Buns came out top of their Division with 13 wins!

Bath Salts also had a long, yet successful trip to Budleigh on the following day to play in the Division 3 event. Four rounds of 80-minute games with one break, not quite as arduous as the Bath Buns team though still demanding. The team of David Prescott (2), Bob Hart (2.5), Andy Wagstaff (4) and captain Pete Miles (2 Peels) started off in the sunny weather with a strong showing. After two rounds, only one game of the 8 played had been lost which left Bath Salts in pole position. In round 3 the team sat out for a leisurely lunch while the other 4 teams played each other. The results from that round still left Bath Salts leading despite not playing. Not wanting to slacken off the team produced another 7 wins from the 8 remaining games to win the Div 3 title with 14 wins out of 16 equalling the record for most games ever achieved. Bring on Div 2 in 2024!

Bath Salts

Bath Buns