Another year, another trip! Would it be the boat or the plane? Wednesday 1st October broke bright but slightly misty and the Mal de Mers, slightly depleted in numbers, but never downhearted, gathered for another invasion. Sports kits were loaded and we were off for another sporting clash with our Island friends.
The weather continued to improve and with a hearty brunch and the DG’s words ringing in our ears it was time to do battle.
Tennis was first up and the Mals with an international team once again, took on the Islands top six seeds. This was going to be a two legged affair with the second leg on Tresco on Sunday. A noisy partisan crowd watched the Mals take the tie 2 – 1. Roll on Sunday.
Uncle Sausage’s youthful table tennis team unfortunately failed to keep up the momentum, going down 9½ – 16½. (WE WON 4 – 1 LAST YEAR!). We’ll have to watch those new scoring systems!!
The volleyball team faired somewhat better, winning by a similar margin to last year 2 – 0.
The basketball turned out to be an equally tight affair and the Mals were narrowly defeated 1 – 2. An average start overall; just the squash to go now. Rumours had reached the mainland that the squash court was up for sale! That would be a great shame as some great tussles have taken place there over the years. Unfortunately for the Islanders, no mercy was shown by the Mals, and a 9 – 0 thrashing was handed out! Well done Joss, Rob and Ben. We hope the cold humble pie served up in the May household wasn’t too bitter!
First night was the usual colourful affair, made even more so by the hotel staff wearing the new sports kit(s) kindly sponsored by Tregarthens.
President Alex soon became ex, and Harry Marsland’s reign began. Sponsors introduced their new boys, Christophe Borens, Paul Williams, Darrel Foulk and Myles Galloway, all looked the ticket; would they make Tuesday morning.
The first of six late nights lived up to its billing!
Thursday morning started a bit on the foggy side but after a hearty breakfast things became clearer.
The Prezzie looked on top form for his drive into office, and those extra sausages paid off as a personal record was set.
Paul Simmonds won the Perry Pot, and who else but Mal 300, Rob Epton won the Morgan Mug.
Meanwhile down on the beach Keith Williams selected the right team for the tide, with a creditable 3 – 3 draw, similar to last year.
Lock up you daughters, it’s swimming club! I would like to say that it was a good turnout, but you could not describe anything about the hordes that entered the water as good!
Every year the hierarchy introduce new sports to give the Islanders a chance to widen their sporting experiences, and this year was no exception with Beach Volleyball making its debut. Unfortunately the Mals were constantly harassed by Herring Gulls pecking over something in Shaun’s mankini and lost 1 – 2.
Don’t blink or you’ll miss something, we still have the regatta and hockey to go before supper!
Captain Smith led his flotilla to victory and ‘The Rock’ aka Stewart Ward, led his team to a resounding 6 – 1 thrashing of St. Mary’s.
Only time for a few mouthfuls and it’s off to the Scillonian club. Let’s hope we can improve on last year! We lost all three events in 2013, so a draw at snooker and darts, was a creditable result. Well done Roy and Steve. Mal no. 300 must have used all his luck up on the golf course as the pool team were heavily beaten 1 – 6.
6 – 4 to the Mals – let’s go celebrate.
Friday broke bright, unlike Rob Epton! A new golf format for the George Twist tankards. Due to the lack of Goofers/Spartans etc, Rob Epton played goofer for the DG, AND the relatively unknown Darrel Foulk. After winning the no. 300 last year, a modicum of sporting talent and tactics would not be too much to ask! Alas, there was none of it, and Rob played himself into the Mal’s hierarchial wilderness’ by consistently playing the DG’s ball out of bounds! Anyway the saying ‘Crime doesn’t pay’ was disproved and Rob and Darrel won the Tankards!
The golf match against the Islands is always a prestigious affair and ten pairs took to the course to avenge last year’s loss. A slight improvement on behalf of the Mals still led to defeat.
Next door on the bowling rink Captain Willington redressed some of the balance with a fine victory 24 – 22. Last year we lost 0 – 4! Have we gone metric?
A busy dinner culminated in Joss Davidge proposing a toast to the ‘New Boys,’ all of whom had shown their various talents. Christophe responded on behalf of Myles, Paul and Darrel, saying all the right things! Vive la France!
Friday night sport has not been going well of late and I am afraid to report that Friday 3rd October was no different and we were second in the Badminton, Rifle shooting and Archery.
Singing/dancing and drinking ensued we must still be ahead or have short memories!
Saturday started cooler, and also very quietly. Kenny Boyle our token highlander, like ‘Brigadoon’ had disappeared! The police were informed and sniffer dogs dispatched.
Dispelling the fallacy that lightning never strikes twice. The golfers Bishop’s Beaker and the goofers Nosworthy Noggin were won by Darrel Foulk and Rob Epton. Was that thunder I could hear?
Still no sign of the Officer of the Day!
Up to the Garrison, which of late hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for us.
First up cricket vs St. Mary’s, always a good test for our squad system. A resounding victory to the Mals, we scored 123/5 and they didn’t.
Now for the football, we lost 0 – 9 last year but assurances from our manager kept us ever hopeful. Unfortunately, despite everyone giving their all, we went down 0 – 13.
A busy night lay ahead, the Cleverdick challenge, followed by the Boat Race.
At dinner the President announced his Boat Race team, coxed by Ben Jakes. The DG enlightened everyone on the financial state of the Mal de Mer Club. He also announced that Joss Davidge would be the President in 2015, with Stewart Ward his deputy.
The quiz followed the usual pattern with the Islanders taking an early lead and flagging towards the end, but again they proved too strong and won narrowly.
Beer drinking; now that’s something we all have double thirsts in! Jakesy seemed to have the selection right but nerves got the better of us and we were beaten by a length. Time for a beer! One win and three losses! It must have been the Officer of the Day’s fault!
Sunday, bright with showers and a lie in to boot. A proper wake up call seemed to gird the loins of the Mals (or was it the lack of golf!). Andy Smith still worried about getting fired as football manager, managed to fire up his firing squad and defeated the Islanders by loads to not very many!
The second leg of the tennis led to the Islanders bringing in ringers, but to no avail, Shaun’s boys increased their lead and won deservedly.
Jamie Pooley’s squad buoyed from the victory against St. Marys were sunk by Tresco. We made 102 and Tresco knocked the total off with 4 balls to spare.
Success breeds success and football guru Andy Smith, half time oranges in hand, led his Galactico’s to the cauldron of the Garrison for some revenge. A spirited game resulted in a 1 – 4 defeat.
The guest night dinner took on a political theme with John May responding to our President’s kind words, comparing the Mals to the Tory party! USIP maybe, but not the Tories! The Head Teacher Linda Todd revealed the Merit Trophy winner as Keri Lock.
Roy Bound announced his Big Ball money winners and the floor was cleared for ‘Show time’. Harry Elliot was the theme, (more like Hari Kari!).
Monday’s Texas Shambles always leads to a great deal of controversy and who am I to shout foul, when the new ‘Golf Organizator’ picks his non-goofer team to win comfortably. Well done Alex Polhill, Andy Smith, Ray Farr and Stewart Ward. Everyone a previous trophy winner!
The last game of cricket resulted in a comfortable win for the Mals over St. Martins, dismissing the home side for 87.
A big sea washed us back to St. Mary’s, with several shanties, delicately delivered, to keep our spirits up.
Unfortunately the seas worsened and the Gig racing was cancelled. Everyone to a man took shelter in the Mermaid for aperitifs.
Theme night dinners are now a real highlight, and no matter how tired we are, everyone makes an effort. This does not include Tregarthen’s team, who really do move mountains and the word effort would not to begin to describe their enthusiasm for this event. The dining room took on the look of a Bedouin tent, decked out in blues, reds and oranges, with rugs and low tables. The food was a delight with Ray Farr admitting that curries were now among his favourite meals! Towards the end of the meal the scene resembled the aftermath of a gas attack with many Mals relaxing so well, that they were unconscious!
Thank you Carina and all your team; a splendid night was had
Room bills were settled and another successful trip was drawing to an end. As usual several goodbyes were made and everyone promised to return on 30th September 2015.