Week Nine of the Glamorganshire Snakes and Ladders competition teed off in dry but cold conditions on Sunday, with the mid-morning sunshine promised by Derek Brockway conspicuous by its absence. As previously reported, the last unbeaten pairings clashed at the top of the table, and John Letton and Gwyn Griffiths prevailed over Peter Edmunds and Mike Desmond. Porky was heard to grumble that if the tree on the 17th hadn’t been cut down, then they wouldn’t have been able to chip out of there and win the hole. Not so much clutching at straws, but leylandii! Before a ball was hit in anger, Wayfarer’s Captain, Paul Brown spent a fruitless ten minutes hammering away at his locker, and threatening to complain to anyone who would listen, until a kindly soul pointed out that his locker was the next one along! Dave Hancock informed partner Bob Lakin that he felt that this was definitely the day for his 3-wood and they went on to lose 5 and 4!
Elsewhere on the course, the Chief Snake and Captain were astounded when Stewart Humphries drove off the 12th, and emitted an ear-piercing Tarzan-like scream. When questioned regarding the ape-like noise he responded, ‘I couldn’t remember the word!’ Phil Cunningham’s tee shot at the 16th was fortunate not to end up in Penarth Cemetery, only for partner, Dave Halliday to nonchalantly chip out of the ivy with very limited backswing and into the hole for a par on 16th! Graham Prothero also managed to chip in a wayward tee-shot from 35 yards on the 10th for a birdie. Graham’s partner, Stuart Braggins, is clearly not content with the number of trees which have disappeared as part of the course management programme, as he lopped branches adjacent to the 11th. Jim Borland substituted and was delighted to break his Snakes duck, posting a first win after the trauma of the Wooden Spoon in the Autumn Snakes.
Regarding the “Spoon”, Malcolm House and Tony Stevens posted their first win. This leaves previous winner, Paul Mantle and his partner Martin Best propping up the table, and hoping that a win against Nicksie and Mike Jones next week will save them from the ignominy of the “Wooden Spoon”. They, at least, will be in good company, since at least another five pairings will be required to play the full eighteen holes next week and also to mark a Stableford card to possibly determine the worst players. Even if this is clear cut, the Chief Snake still has the discretionary power to award the Spoon to whichever pairing he deems to be most deserving, so hackers at the bottom are kept in suspense until the Snakes Supper. This takes place on Friday 22nd March and Snakers are urged to confirm their availability as soon as possible. Prior to that, on Sunday 17th, the play-off for overall Snakes winner will take place, with the winners of the Spring Snakes playing Peter Docherty and Dan Bird, who won the autumn competition.