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The millennium trophy which is contested by Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales every four years was hosted this year by Wales. The round robin format began on 20th October and finished on 22nd October.
The teams were billetted in the Fairways Hotel in Porthcawl which was ideally placed for the three courses. Most members of the four teams asembled on the Friday evening and enjoyed a meal in the hotel.
Day one of the competition was held at Southerdown Golf Club which sits up on a hill with views across the bay to Porthcawl. A very interesting course on which flocks of sheep had free reign. The local rules also provided some amusement as the "ha ha" is an itegral part of the course (answers on a postcard please) and relief was given from animal dung but only for lie and area of intended swing NOT stance!!!!
Wales kicked off against England with Scotland taking on the Irish. The format (this year) was BB4B and in this initial match England and Ireland emerged victorious. The last game finished in darkness so it was staright back to the hotel to prepare for dinner. An enjoyable meal was held in a local Italian restaurant and the evening was rounded off in traditional manner by (for some) overindulgence in alcholic beverages.
Day two dawned bright for the bus trip to Ashburnham Golf Club which was an hour away. Here Wales joined swords with the Irish whilst England entertained the Scots. England and Ireland consolidated their position by again registering wins thus leaving Wales and Scotland languishing at the bottom of the table (rather than under it). A very nice buffet meal was provided by the club and. courtesy of a few beers, the return journey seemed to take considerably less time.
The third and last day of competition was held over Royal Porthcawl and what a wonderful course it proved to be. Undoubtedly championship standard but enjoyable for all standards of golfer. The fourth hole provided most amusement or ire dependent on whether or not you were the victim. A two hundred yard par three with a vicious slope to the front of the green. Several players (no names) putted successively longer putts on the same line before finally reaching the safety of the small plateau on which the pin was placed.
Ireland managed to fend off the English assault to win the trophy whist Scotland managed to repel the Welsh efforts to deny them the wooden spoon.
An excellent dinner rounded off the event with each Regional Captain extolling the virtues of the weekend experience and commemorative gifts being dispensed to all by the Welsh hosts. The host club Secretaries had been invited to join the dinner and all participated in the ensuing period of fellowship. This was when the Irish proved that they could sing and play, the Welsh that they could sing, the English that national reserve and stiff upper lip were not necessarily a trait enjoyed by all and the Scots having already had supper found little need to sing for it. Celebrations continued long into the night at the hotel and it was perhaps fortuitous that some return ferry's were scheduled for late in the afternoon on the day of departure.