As usual, it was going to be a very tough match, but the preparation paid off, and we won 3½ –1½, our first win at this stage since 1989. One string of the match is particularly worthy of mention – Peter Watts and Rob Atton had played a rather tense 17th. They were all square on the tee, but it took a 20 foot putt by Peter to earn a half, and remain all square going down the 18th. It was a pivotal moment and a fantastic pressure putt. Peter then crunched a drive down 18, as only he can, and Rob and he then achieved a cast iron par 4 and won their match 1-up, to deliver the winning point we needed.
Earlier in the day, Gavin and Pat were a great lead-off pair, and they didn’t disappoint, giving us winning starts in both their first and second round matches. Matts Stolls and Jonny Newton halved both their matches, but only because the overall matches had finished. They were up in both their games, at the time, so were quite annoyed to only get credit for a half.
Our second-round match was against Merchant Taylors’, to whom we lost by the same margin as we won in the first round. It’s perhaps instructive to note that, had we secured a point further up the match, we could have turned the tables and won! There really wasn’t much in it at all.
The team had a great few days, and it was a proud moment when we finally got the monkey off our backs with the Stonyhurst result.
The team was ably supported by Richard Sayer, SOF President, Norman Porter, SOF Hon Sec, Andrew Wright and Mike Schneidau.
We stayed in the Pegwell Bay Hotel, and thanks are due once again to Andy Towler for making all the arrangements.
Next year we shall lose the services of Pat, who plans to turn professional in September – a great loss for the team, but we wish him every success in his chosen career."
L-R: Mike Schneidau, Andrew Wright, Andrew Towler, Charlie Plunkett, Richard Graves, Jonny Newton, Richard Sayer, Peter Watts, Matt Stolls, Rob Atton, Pat Spraggs, Johnny Wybar, Gavin Cowell and Norman Porter.