Another year and another tough draw! This year the HH was held between the 9-14 April. The OTGS team was looking healthy with twelve potential players that would have resulted in some tough decisions having to be taken by the captain. However, through unforeseen circumstances two players had to drop out leaving a core ten players.
The weather was looking dry yet very windy and extremely cold with a north wind blowing. It did get better towards the end of the week.
Taunton’s first match was against Rossall, who were runners-up in 2005, at Royal St George’s, Sandwich at the very early time of 07:45! This was always going to be a tough match and we lost 31/2– 11/2. Well done to Jack Malden who won his first match in his first Halford Hewitt.
First round loss in the main competition qualified us for the Plate which we started on Friday. Round 1 was against Highgate which we won 2-1. Round 2 was against Trent which we won 21/2– 1/2. Round 3 (quarter finals) we lost to Merchant Taylor’s 21/2– 1/2.
Thanks to all for making the week once again memorable and to Pete for organising the accommodation, brilliant!
Team from the left going clockwise: Pete Whalley, Gary Hector, Phil Stickler, Iain Westwater, Tim Blood, Richard Willacy, Jack Malden, Dave Higginson, Mark Jenkins, Greg Whalley (absent, loo?)
It was also freezing as depicted below.
Another great performance by the team and players available to play gave the captain selection problems! Missing from the photo below is Mark Jenkins (Jenks). Welcome to Jack Malden for his inaugural scratch competition with OTGS.
Back Row: Jack Malden, Tim Blood, Greg Whalley, Gary Hector, Pete Whalley
Front Row: Phil Stickler, Richard Willacy, Iain Westwater
First round versus old Shirburnian, Lost 2-1
First round versus Warwickshire Bears, Won 2-1
Second round versus Bogeymen (ex Navy), Lost 2-1
Well done team.
Report from David Murrell who once again organised and sponsored a fantastic day.
“I am pleased to report we had a very successful day yesterday at Swinley, which was enjoyed by all.
The weather was generally sunny until a very few spots of rain late in the afternoon.
As you can see from the attached, the final number of players was 40, the same number as what was believed to be the all time record number of last year. Applications did get to 42 but Mike Turner had to pull him and his guest out at relatively short notice due to a back injury. Swinley required a minimum number of 18 so there appears potentially to be an offering of a further fixture for next year and hopefully many years ahead.
The number of players was equally split at 20 each between OT’s and guests.
The OT and trophy winner in the morning was Ben Hunt with 37 points followed by Richard Willacy with 35. The guest winner was Sophie Banham with 37 points winning on countback from D Smyth.
In the afternoon greensomes Ben Hunt and Mark Wilkinson were the OT and trophy winners with 41 points (19 on the back nine) beating Mark and Sophie Banham on the same score but only 18 on the back nine.
The nearest the pin on the 17th hole in the morning in memory of the late Matthew Compton was Murray Dron.
In my 50th year at this event my brothers and I were happy to sponsor all players by £10 each, the prizes and, as a one off, free drinks during the lunch break between the two rounds.”