Whoever said "what goes around comes around" was spot on the mark with our latest match against Durham. The match was played at Houghton le Spring Golf Club and our hosts were optimistic and looking for local bragging rights for the next 12 months. The course was in excellent condition but with the weather forecast heavy rain, our away fixture against Durham was about to have a familiar ending.
Durham started the morning very brightly, in the early morning sunshine, and dominated the early exchanges. Team Northumberland started to stage a late comeback and we saw our top foursomes pairing of James Curry and Double County Champion Mark Penny get a vital half after being 2 down with 3 to play.
Simon Lee and Phil Ridden were soundly beaten in their match and with the other games all behind on the course things didn't look good. With the threat of rain it became more apparent that every point would prove vital.
Phil Waugh and Shaun Heads again played some superb golf to win their match 2 & 1 giving us 1.5 points. The remaining matches went to Durham who played very well in what was turning out to be horrendous conditions. At the end of the mornings play Durham had a justified lead winning the foursomes 4.5 to 1.5.
The skies were very black and the wind was blowing at 35 miles per hour. However, we started the singles matches and we knew we had a major task ahead of us.
We needed to turn the result around quickly before the course flooded. With 11 matches out on the course and the first game reaching the 9th tee, play was suspended.
The 8th and 13th greens were unplayable. We had the ascendancy in the games there was a chance that we would run out of time before we could claw back our deficit.
Just like Brancepeth Castle two years previously, play was suspended and the match was eventually cancelled.
The Northern Counties rules dictate that all matches not complete are recorded as half matches. This gave Durham a total of 10.5 to our 7.5.
Having played county golf since 1992 I never played in a game that was eventually cancelled, but in my term of office I have now been involved in two, both against Durham, both away, and both having decided our league future.
Our next match is at home against Cheshire at Arcot Hall on Saturday, August 9th.
Team Northumberland would like to thank our match day sponsors Cellular Solutions Ltd, for their vision and support.