After successfully defending the regional title, the Bedford School team of six golfers qualified for their fourth HMC Foursomes National Final in the last five years. The finals, held at Delamere Forest Golf Club on 6-8 July were attended by arguably the eight best HMC golfing schools in the UK.
Bedford faced Loretto, Millfield and Radley in the group stage. The first match in wet and windy conditions proved tough for Bedford against one of the largest and most highly regarded UK golf schools: Loretto. Josh Taylor (Upper Sixth), on his last occasion representing the school, and Harry Brown, (Fourth Form), having just come back from a broken collarbone only six weeks ahead of the event, took an early lead against the Loretto first pair. Some unfortunate breaks on the back nine failed to phase Josh and Harry, who held out for a great 2up win on the 18th hole. Unfortunately, the following two pairs couldn't follow up the first pair's win and, despite a great effort and strong battle, Byron Tan (Lower Sixth) and Rob Holden (Fifth Form) lost on the 15th. Conrad Staroscik (Lower Sixth) and Matthew Hosking (Lower Sixth) lost on the 16th.
The points system was such that should Loretto beat Radley in the afternoon fixture on the first day of the tournament Bedford would need two wins from their remaining two fixtures and other results to go their way to qualify for the final by winning the group. Bedford did the first part of the difficult task by winning 2-1 against Millfield School. A great result after being beaten by them in a friendly just a few months ago. Byron and Rob produced some great golf to win comfortably with plenty of holes to spare. Despite Josh and Harry suffering an unfortunate narrow loss in extra holes, Conrad and Matt, not phased by their loss against Loretto fought hard to bring home a point and secure the match 2-1. Loretto won 2-1 against Radley leaving Bedford in second place in the group with one fixture to go.
Needing a 3-0 win against Radley to have any chance of qualifying for the final, Bedford did exactly that. Josh and Harry won 5/3 against the previously unbeaten Radley first pair. Rob and Byron followed up the Millfield win with another point, secured with a stunning birdie on the long par three 16th hole. Conrad and Matt made it 3-0 by producing some of their best golf of the tournament on the back 9. Sadly the other fixture in the group didn't go Bedford's way, and Millfield losing to Loretto 2-1 left Bedford stranded in 2nd in the group behind Loretto, who had a 2-1 win against each of the three teams in the group.
Loretto went on to win the overall tournament beating Reeds School in the final. Having failed to qualify for the final, the six Bedford boys took part in the Tankard competition along with the other five schools who had failed to qualify for the final. The team put the unfortunate result of not qualifying for the final behind them and produced some fantastic golf to win the Stableford Tankard competition. Two opening birdies from Conrad and Byron contributed to the teams great performance which brought them home the trophy. Captain Josh, collected the Tankard on behalf of the team along with the silver plate for winning the central region of qualification for the final.
A very successful and enjoyable few days of golf at a great golf course. The future looks bright for both the golf programme at Bedford and the Old Bedfordian Golfing Society. Thanks go to Mr Taylor for giving up the start of his summer holiday to plan, organise and coordinate the trip.