International cricketers caught out at Cooden

Cooden Beach Golf Club captain Martin Dix receives the Cricketers Cup from John Lever
Cooden Beach Golf Club captain Martin Dix receives the Cricketers Cup from John Lever

A group of former international cricketers turned out this week at Cooden Beach Golf Club to play against a finely-tuned squad from the Bexhill-based club.

Led by Bob Willis and former Essex and England fast bowler John Lever, the side also sported such names as Derek Underwood, John Shepherd, Mark Butcher, Angus Fraser, Min Patel and current Sussex player Chris Nash.

This was the third year of playing the match and it had been won by the cricketers on both previous occasions, so it required a particularly determined approach from the home team to attempt to retrieve the situation.

First out were club captain Martin Dix and Ben Nash against Butcher and Sky Sports cricket pundit Ian Ward. But with two minutes to go before their tee-off time, Butcher called Ward to see what time he would be arriving and was embarrassed to hear that he had got the date in his diary as next Monday rather than this Monday!

Cooden’s handyman John Larkin nipped home to get his golfing gear on and partnered Butcher some 20 minutes later. They promptly went four up against Dix and Nash, but the home team rallied and stole the show with a late flourish.

Nash and Ed Giddins won against Peter Bradshaw and David Warden to level things, and Nigel Cutting and Pat Dowell managed a half against former Essex and Hampshire fast bowler Steve Andrew and Jon Hardy.

Martin Phillimore and David Hawkins went down against Patel and Fraser, but Cooden chairman John Thompson and general manager Keith Wiley triumphed on the 18th against Lever and Willis to square the match. Ken Morriss and Graham Pickering overcame Underwood and John Shepherd to take the Cricketers Cup match by 3½ matches to 2½.