A wonderful collection of team names greeted the faithful who made the trip down to League 4 for the opening week of fixtures. Fittingly, there was a plentiful supply of colourful language to accompany said names in the league that is synonymous with great banter and high consumption.
Beating the drum for late evening golf in game one were the resurgent Sally Gunnell’s Soldiers playing host to newbies Great Balls of Fire. Sally had started last season in scratchy fashion, but after a couple of high level investigations, they became a strong force in the game. That said, they did get off to one of the worst starts in League history as they played the wrong ball on the opening hole to hand an early gift to the debutants.
Becoming complacent with the early lead, having doubled their lead on the second hole, Great Balls of Fire took their foot off the gas to open the door for Sally Gunnell. Swiftly following the opening of the door came the opening of the floodgates which saw a flurry of birdies move Sally Gunnell into a commanding and ultimately unassailable lead.
Having taken a sabbatical from the game to recharge their batteries, Shepherd Neame returned with great optimism that they could show more application than their last campaign. In their way were Drawshank Redemption who carried with them rumours of a talented bunch of “semi-pro” golfers.
From the start Shepherd Neame looked great – sadly in reference to their matching shirts and not their golfing prowess – having skipped the warm-up and gone straight into the premium Japanese lager. Despite the odd heroic shot from captain Stu (always greeted with group hugs), Neame were powerless to resist the advances of their talented opposition. Redemption have thrown down a huge marker with this performance. Is there anything they don’t have? They’re long, straight and disturbingly handsome.
The final newcomers of the campaign Wilkins Kennedy were afforded the luxury of being hosted by the house team Arnies Army. They may sound more like a 70’s prog-rock band but they’ve got some golf game.
Upon arrival one of Wilkins players bemoaned the fact that he only plays once a year – it was inevitable that he would play like god, holing everything that he looked at and helping his side to an impressive opening win to launch their careers in Team League and put themselves on the map.
A league insider, having reviewed all the sides, was quoted as saying “Drawshank Redemption will piss this league.” Time will tell, but complacency has undone many a better side.