The narrow 16-14 margin of victory belied the fact that the hosts won three of the five rubbers, including the important singles clash between CJ Elmy and Jeremy Nicolle that was the only encounter to go beyond 15 holes on a warm, still evening out west, but also proved the value of nearest-the-pin bonuses, which provided four of the visitors’ points haul.
On paper the draw threw up several intriguing, hard-to-call contests which promised to go to the wire.
In reality, though, on the course there were some dominant displays from both sides.
Ben Hibbins and Tommy Bruley set the tone impressively for LGM in the first foursomes rubber out against the newly-crowned Island junior boys’ champion Rory McKenna and his partner Daniel Griggs.
The home duo combined to great effect with both looking confident in their roles, quickly establishing a healthy 4 up lead through six holes.
Although Griggs and McKenna got a couple of holes back before the turn, successive pars at the short 10th and 11th holes restored the four-hole advantage for Hibbins and Bruley, who went on to close out the match on the 14th for a winning bonus.
In the second foursomes, Mick Marley became the first player to earn a ‘NTP’ bonus with a fine shot to 18ft on the sixth – but as many were to find out on the evening, being in the heart of the green with a right-hand pin placement left a tricky putt in comparison with coming up just short of the putting surface but straight uphill to the hole.
The LGM’s two Andys – Boyd and Dawson – took that more beneficial route on the same hole and were rewarded with a birdie against Marley and Roland Mills, which reduced their deficit to one hole at that stage.
However, the Royals duo always had something in hand and picked up their own winning bonus as they shook hands on the 15th.
It was a similar story in both the second singles match out and the fourball clash.
Home player Ollie Chedhomme, fresh from winning the scratch prize at the Alderney Open over the weekend, was too good for an out-of-sorts Dale Rutledge, who did manage to pick up a NTP point on the sixth.
That, though, was the one bright point for him as Chedhomme, who was the first player to find the green at the 11th for a bonus, dominated from the outset.
In the fourball, Wayne Harwood and Dave Jeffery, for whom LGM is like a home from home, used their extensive knowledge of the course in a convincing win over Emyr Davies and Orlando Abreu, who had the consolation of a NTP point on the sixth.
All those rubbers had long finished by the time Elmy’s clash with Nicolle, which had a lot riding on it by then, came to a climax on the 17th.
There was nothing to separate the two in terms of score when the left the 11th, although Nicolle had managed to pick up a bonus on the sixth despite Elmy having been a grand total of little more than a yard off the green having played both NTP holes.
The home player made a significant move by winning two of the next three holes, but he gave one back on the 15th having found thick rough off the tee which led to a bogey.
With the honour, Nicolle found the putting surface at the short 16th, but was a long way from the hole and, wary of the downslope past the hole, he left his approach putt 8ft short.
With Elmy safely in for par, the Royals’ stand-in captain for the night failed to save his and the LGM man was dormie.
Neither found the green on the tough 17th, but Elmy played a delightful chip and was not required to putt as Nicolle conceded after his par putt horseshoed out.
With each team having now won one and lost one, only nine points cover the three clubs halfway through the round-robin.