David Turnbull reports that the OF team were knocked-out in the first round of the Halford Hewitt competition (see Read More for Gavin Cowell's full report). However, their dander was up for the Plate Competition, and they overcame some serious opposition to get as far as the Quarter Finals.
Gavin Cowell, 1st Team captain reports:
This year we were drawn against Highgate, with an early start. The photo shows most of our team, as follows:
Keith Hockridge (Sponsor), Roger Wharton, Alex Cameron, Mike Schneidau, Gavin Cowell (1st Team Captain), Martin Lamb, Richard Graves, Jonny Newton, Andy Towler - missing Robin Anderton and Charlie Plunkett.
First pair was Alex Cameron and Robin Anderton, who fought hard but sadly lost.
Second pair out was new team man Jonny Newton and dancing Guru Charlie Plunkett. They had a great match, losing on the last. At one point they were 3 up and they'll be a formidable pairing in the future.
Third pair, Gavin Cowell and Richard Graves took their match to the wire, and we would have won on the last, but had to settle for a half.
Our Fourth pair, Mike Schneidau, night club and shot king, and Roger Wharton, sadly lost.
Our Fifth and final pair were Andy Towler, who been in hospital due to illness less than 2 weeks prior to the Hewitt, and Martin Lamb, who won 5/4. This was a great achievement seeing as Martin always says he shouldn't be in the team - but he nearly always wins a point.
So in the end we lost 3 ½ to 1 ½. But, as ever, that’s not the real story, and it was all much closer than the result shows.
This year we were in team jumpers which promoted an excellent team spirit. This is thanks to Keith Hockridge and his kind sponsorship. Keith again came and supported and caddied for Andy. Please see below* for Keith’s details.
You can see from this picture of Jonny Newton, Richard Graves, Mike Schneidau and Alex Cameron, that the jumpers just have the College crest. Any OF can purchase a sweater from PTS Golf Ltd for £38.00 for long sleeve and £36.00 for sleeveless. They will charge £5.00 postage anywhere in the UK. Their phone number is 01255 671618.
Then it was on to the Plate. After our obvious disappointment in losing such close games we rallied with the remaining seven players. Martin, Robin and Alex had left us for Suffolk due to previous commitments. Mike’s knees were really bad and swollen, but he soldiered on, assuring us that drinking vast amounts of alcohol was the answer. My own foot was still bad and Andy was very tired after his debilitating virus - but our spirits were high.
Our first round was against Westminster, who really thought they only had to turn up, but they were in for a shock. Richard and Mike lost. Jonny and Charlie won, and then Roger and Andy won.
The second round was against Bishop’s Stortford, and we were down to only six players, Roger having to get back to the farm. Richard and Mike won. Jonny and Charlie won again, and Andy and I took the half and walked in.
Now we were in uncharted territory. The Quarter Finals of the Plate! However, there were more problems: Richard had a flight booked for Miami on the Saturday morning, but got straight on the phone to postpone his flight - a great gesture, and thank you. Elsewhere, Robin and Martin had offered to come back, while Alex was getting engaged!
Our Quarter Final match was against Liverpool, and we found out their highest handicap was 5! No problem, we thought, it’s foursomes and we can still win.
Richard and Mike lost 2/1. Jonny and Charlie took a half on 17, being all square. Sadly, Andy and I lost 4/3 and the run was over, but a great time was had by all.
Grateful thanks are due to the support of Barry Lorkin, Brian Evans and Keith, who cheered us along.
Next year we shall have a change a lodgings, as we are now in Sandwich, with more pubs, more restaurants and more fun. Hopefully we will have John Wybar, Peter Watts, Matt Stolls, and newcomers Patrick Spraggs and Harry Bush.
*Keith Hockridge has been a member of the St. James’s Place Partnership for over twelve years, and is accredited in all areas of personal financial planning. If you would like any further information on St. James’s Place Wealth Management please see Keith’s website or alternatively contact his office on 01255 851584.