SNAKES’ SUPPER AT THE GLAMORGANSHIRE.
After twenty weeks of keenly contested, sometimes brilliant and often erratic golf, Chief Snake, Peter “Jammy” James welcomed “snakelets” to the annual Snakes Supper marking the conclusion of the Glamorganshire Golf Club’s Winter Snakes and Ladders’ Competition. In keeping with tradition, Jammy said Grace before the meal in which former Snakes’ regulars, Phil Rattray and Colin Lamey were remembered. Once again the “snakelets” enjoyed the excellent supper provided by Ben Gray and his team, and made massive inroads into the liquid refreshment which Mike Reilly and his staff provided, before the Chief Snake rose to his full height and in a solemn tone began the formal proceedings. As he did at the Winter Supper he intoned “Hi Ho!” and this refrain was repeated from various parts of the room, before the second and final performance of “Only Dwarfs Aloud” took place. Jammy’s choice of the Rolf Harris classic “Two Little Boys” was performed with great gusto by the vertically-challenged group, who are retiring by popular demand!
The Snakes and Ladders Competition is simple, brutal and unforgiving with hackers and single handicappers paired together for ten weeks twice a year, and expected to perform manfully whatever the excesses of the previous night with a “shotgun” start at 9:00 a.m. sharp. This enables everyone to finish in time for the ritual speeches at 1:00, which are a combination of slander, hurtful fact, insinuation and litigious observations delivered in Jammy’s unique style. This combines musical abuse with ready wit and an obvious knowledge of his victims. On the final Sunday of each half, pairings at the top and bottom of the board are obliged to mark a Stableford Card, so that the winners and recipients of the dreaded “Wooden Spoon” are determined. In a delicious abuse of power, the Chief Snake has the discretion to award the Spoon to anyone he considers worthy of the dishonour, so several pairings are kept on tenterhooks until the last minute.
In fifth place were Martyn Davies and Ian Dodd, just behind Gwyn Griffiths and John Letton, who led for most of the campaign, only to fall away in the last few weeks. John Rednap and Richie Collins finished third and Jonathon Adams and Andrew Warner were runners-up. Overall winners of the 2012-2013 Snakes were Phil Harris and Nigel Jones, whose perfect tactics of losing an early match, re-grouping and staying under the radar, and then finishing with an unstoppable surge paid dividends as they blew away Autumn Winners Peter Docherty and Dan Bird 6 and 5. Nigel announced that instead of a victory speech that they were going to entertain us in song and dance. Nigel then led a fantastic rendition of “I’m the King of the Swingers” with enthusiastic audience participation, although Phil’s impersonation of King Louie dancing was more reminiscent of Douglas Bader!
There were several contenders for the Wooden Spoon, but Chief Snake Jammy’s choice was unfortunately limited as a least two pairings which might have figured had fled the country, citing the re-arranged date as an excuse. Keith Nicholls and Mike Jones, both proud Englishmen were awarded the Wooden Spoon, and accepted the award with the same dignity as English Rugby Captain, John Pullin, some 40 years ago. On that occasion, Pullin rose wearily to his feet in a smoked-filled room in the old Hibernian Hotel in Dublin, dodged a couple of incoming breadrolls, and uttered possibly the most memorable 13 words in sporting history: “Well we might not be any good but at least we turned up.”