In this year’s Halford Hewitt we were drawn at Royal St Georges against what turned out to be a very strong Loretto. However, after a titanic tussle, Loretto’s strength in depth proved just too much and they scraped home 3-2.
This led us to the Prince’s Plate and after dispatching City of London and Blundells we went head to head with local rivals Stowe for a chance to reach the semi-final and a Sunday golf for the first time in 80 years. Some early success saw us looking strong favourites. The obligatory back-nine OB twitches returned as all the matches started to lose ground but for the first time the nerves were overcome and a 3-0 whitewash saw us through.
Under glorious sunshine and now without the unavailable Tom Langley-Poole (96-06) a rejigged team won a tight match against Forest School on the last green. We were in the final!
The final opposition was a very strong Merchant Taylors side and the opening game was won by Iain Pratt (83-93) and Josh Taylor (05-16) to complete an incredible record of 6 wins from 6 matches for the week. Adam Wilkinson (87-92) and Ben Dunlop (12-14) were hit with a barrage of birdies and eagles in the opening few holes and couldn’t overcome the deficit. In the final game, despite a stirring comeback that created temporary hope of a historic victory, Simon Blundell (84-89) and Colin Beesley (90-98) succumbed on the last green to a one-hole defeat.
This was a monumental week for OB Golf and places us firmly in the category of ‘ones to watch’ for future Hewitt competitions. George Wilson (03-10), Henry Wilson and Tim Henderson (64-71) made up the team for the Loretto match.
(photo: L-R – Adam Wilkinson, Josh Taylor, Colin Beesley, Simon Blundell, Ben Dunlop, Iain Pratt)