This year Rugby was drawn against Westminster School in the first round of the Bernard Darwin competition. We had about as good a side as we were able to field, albeit four of the team of six are over the age of 65 and therefore eligible to play in the Senior Darwin. I am particularly indebted to Alick Hay who agreed to play at short notice and travelled from Scotland to Woking for the second time in a few weeks having played in the Senior Darwin.
Alex Fletcher and Simon Maisey
Nigel Cadbury and Peter Stanbrook
Clive Pickerill and Alick Hay
Simon Maisey was so concerned about his form that he thought he should not play with our best player Alex Fletcher but form is temporary class is permanent and the first pair got their noses ahead early did not let go winning on the 14th hole and secured our first point.
The second pair stuttered along without playing particularly well but found themselves three up on the 15th tee when the opposition lost their drive in the trees on the left but decided to carry on with a second ball. At that point the third pair were called through two up. Not surprisingly the second pair won on the 15th green, signalled their win to the third pair who were on the 16th green and they quickly agreed a half although they appeared to be on their way to a win.Upon our return to the clubhouse we discovered that Highgate had beaten Eton and we looked forward to the afternoon match. Sadly it did not go according to plan. All three matches were very close. The first pair went all the way to the 18th hole all square by which time the second pair had just lost 2 and 1. Nigel and Peter played steadily but sadly did not putt well enough and lost a match that was eminently winnable. They watched the first pair reach the 18th green when Alex played a superb bunker shot giving Simon the chance of winning the hole with a 5 foot putt. Simon struck it firmly into the middle of the hole to square the match. The third pair had enjoyed a three hole lead after nine holes but we knew it was much closer going down the 15th fairway. We could see a shake of hands on the 17th green and moments later learned that they had also lost 2 and 1 as had the second pair.
So a little disappointing to have lost to Highgate by a fairly close margin but an improvement on last year’s first round loss.
Harrow beat Highgate the following day in the semi final but lost to Malvern in the final.
I am honoured to Captain the Bernard Darwin team, I believe we are making progress and I am optimistic about the future.
Bernard Darwin Trophy
Woking Golf Club
Burnham & Berrow
Tues 25th & Wed 26th
Match v RND
Royal North Devon
Huntercombe Golf Club