In total around eighty OBs were involved in Fives, Squash, Shooting, Hockey and Soccer over the weekend. Many thanks to them all, and to the students and staff involved, for a wonderful weekend of events.
16 OBs came back in total for Squash – it was a well competed fixture with many matches going to five games. The final result was that the OBs won 13 games, whilst the boys won 11, which led to a nail biting finish! As always it was a very fun event with a strong representation from Mr Montgomery’s Master i/c era and nearly all of the Kent tour team of 2009 returned. Thank you to Will for all his hard work in putting this together.
Tom Rees, Master i/c Squash
The full team: Left to right, Henry Olney (95-06), Arthur Olney (97-08), Julian West (02-13), Dan, Tristan Walker (02-13), Timon Chodha (00-10), Johnathan Longstaff (67-76), George Olney (00-11), Luke Fletcher (00-11), Jamie Bourne (01-11), Alex Monks (01-11), Mark Edmunds (00-11), James De Souza (00-11), Ashish Patel (06-11), Ashnish Sinha (01-11), Peter Davis.
Three OB Olney brothers: Arthur, George and Henry played, with moral support from their father David (left) and sister Tillie.
This year’s OB Association Football matches marked many firsts…
- First time that the matches played on a Sunday
- First time that five previous 1st XI captains played
- First time that Brendan McGrath (Captain 1983) returned to play – and first time he had kicked a ball in 25 years! It was in fact only his second return to the School site since leaving School, the first being during his time as a dog handler in the Police when the alarm had gone off in the CCF and he was called to the scene!
- And the first time Colin Baker got the Kick-off time wrong!
Due to a block fixture against Rugby School on the Saturday, the OB matches were moved to a Sunday. This didn’t prevent another good turnout for the OBs, with Daniel Walker participating in his 30th successive match. The matches were played on the main field in front of the school on a glorious sunny day, which was unheard of in the days of Brendan McGrath’s time at the school.
The OB 1st XI led by Charlie Roberts fielded a strong team mixing youth and experience. The game was played with great passion from sides determined to win – the School trying to finish on a high, and the OBs trying to reverse last year’s defeat. The first half saw the keepers having little to do, as both teams initially struggled with a firm pitch and bouncing balls. The deadlock was broken midway through the 2nd half, when Toby Walker (Captain 2013) scored direct from 25 yards with a typical free kick of his time at the School, hitting the underside of the bar. Goal line technology wasn’t required. 10 minutes later the score was doubled in almost exactly the same fashion, with Jon Lamb nodding in the rebound of the bar and keeper. The last 15 minutes saw tiring OB legs, but Tom Caldon in the OB goal was in excellent form.
The OB 2nd team had a rather more convincing 5-1 win with goals from Oli Keary (2), Will Robertson, David Naylor, and Ben Grounds. A special mention is due to Ricky Wong who has appeared in a large number of OB games over the last 17 years, as he returns to Hong Kong.
The players in the OB 1st XI were (left to right) Cian Brittle (09-14), Jon Lamb (90-00), Daniel Walker (Captain 1984) (81-85), Charlie Roberts (Captain 2014) (04-14), Harry David (05-14), Tom Garratt (05-14), Liam Garratt (05-10), Toby Walker (Captain 2013) (08-13), Tom Dickman (08-13), Rob Elson (04-13), and Tom Caldon (09-14).
The 2nd XI comprised of (left to right) Guillaume Trounson (02-13), Will Robertson (01-10), Oli Keary (99-10), Josiah Herbert (11-13), Matt McGall (02-13), Ciram Soor (Captain 2011) (00-11), Brendan McGrath (Captain 1983) (78-83), David Naylor (02-06), Ricky Wong (99-06) and Ben Grounds (01-06). (The last player on the right is a current student who made up the numbers).
The previous evening, although a scaled-down event from that originally planned, a group of OBs celebrated 40 years of Association Football at the School with an informal evening at a Bedford curry house. In attendance were (left to right) Toby Walker, Nick Holland, Bob Eastoe, Daniel Walker, Ben Grounds, David Naylor, Ricky Wong, Tom Dickman and Matt McGall.
The OBs were Chris Davey (04-13), Stuart Endersby (62-69), Ali Jones (02-13), Martin Wilkinson (54-62), Dan Sorensen (04-13), Martin Robinson (66-70), Graham Saunders (58-64) and David Arnold (62-69). Graham writes: “Eight Old Bedfordians turned out for the annual match against the School. These split neatly into two groups, five who were over 63 and three who were under 20. Where are all the OB fives players from the middle four decades!?
It was a pretty strong team and rather too good for the School. Eight singles matches were played and sixteen games of doubles, and the OBs won all of them. The school team was quite young, and showed keenness and promise. Most of them will still be around next year and we can, I believe, expect stiffer opposition then. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for all participants and my thanks go to every OBs who played."
The OB side this year was (left to right) Jeremy Woodrow (83-93) (despite the fact that it was his 40th birthday the night before and he had had 19 friends round to dinner!), Doug Spencer (81-83), Luke Fletcher (00-11), George Olney (00-11), Arthur Olney (97-08), Tom Lamond (99-08), Tom Holloway (04-13), Nick Carragher (05-10), James Oakley (91-02) (Captain), Tom Seabrook (92-02), and (kneeling in front) Goal Keeper Sam Spencer (07-12).
Tom Lamond (99-08) is a ski instructor in Switzerland and had flown over especially so that he could play hockey against his brother James who is in the U6th! Another family connection in this year’s match was Doug Spencer (81-86) with his son Sam Spencer (07-12) who played together.
The OBs won convincingly, 5-1.
This March saw the fourth year of the resurrected OBs 0.22 rifle match against the School at the Miniature Range, with yet another good turnout. Twelve OBs covering 45 School years between 1963 to 2008 met for an excellent pre-match lunch at the Three Tuns in Biddenham, in order to reminisce over stories of their respective School days and what everyone has been up to since.
Once at the Range we were warmly greeted by the Master i/c shooting Mr Peter Lumley-Wood (84-89) and the School’s team, including familiar faces from last year.
The course of fire was the Country Life format of Group, Rapid (10 shots in 60s) and Snap (3s to see the target), a break to change targets and then sighters and ten bull. OBs gladly coached the boys as well as their own teammates, who huffed and puffed trying to get comfortable with the long since forgotten peculiarities of the School No.8 MOD rifles. Though the OB team included a number of top international shots long past and recent, the Rapid and Snap targets are great levellers and showed many of us up; one OB was heard to say “not many sports done laying down leave you this breathless”.
Despite this disadvantage, the OBs won this year with the top five scores counting against the School V, 925 to 824. To be fair the School team was disadvantaged with at least one of its top shots held hostage elsewhere to one ball sport or another – nothing changes over the decades!
We all agreed it was a super day with much fun had by all, and would like to thank the boys and Mr Lumley-Wood for their hospitality and an excellent day.
The OB side comprised of Will Banks (81-91), Toby Campbell-Gray (76-83), Ben Chowdhary (88-96), Phil Dawes (63-72), John Farmer-Wright (67-76), Nigel Greenaway (76-81), Nick Hart (70-75), Jules Hilton-Johnson (79-82), Nick Hudleston (78-83), Steve Lyon (73-84), Rupert Riley (79-89), David Teasdel (76-81) and Calum Welsh (03-08).