We enjoyed another great turnout to the OB Club’s annual Sports Weekend which took place over 12th and 13th March, with around sixty OBs taking part in Fives, Squash, Shooting, Hockey and Soccer. As always the fixtures were great fun, with both OBs and boys showing a great level of sportsmanship. Many thanks to them all, and to the students and staff involved, for a wonderful weekend of events.
The OB’s won the squash match on Saturday 6/4. It was a good first half with 8 OB’s attending overall. Ashnish Patel (06-11), George Smith (98-09), Philip Salvesen (05-10), Chris Jones (72-77), Joe Williams (95-06), David Williams (99-10), Josh Selvey (08-15).
Tom Rees, Master i/c Squash
A new tradition was started for the first time this year as the Baker Walker Cup was presented following the annual football fixture between the School and Old Bedfordians Club.
This special cup has been introduced to recognise the part played in supporting and promoting School football over many years by two key individuals. Colin Baker, who retires as Vice Master later this year, arrived in the School in 1979 and played a vital role in establishing and developing football at the School. OB Daniel Walker (81-85) was coached by Colin, and since leaving has not missed a match between the School and OB Club, having organised the vast majority!
The introduction of football, although rather controversial at the time has of course brought great enjoyment to a large number of boys (and older OBs) over many years. On this occasion the School won 3-1 and Colin Baker awarded the cup for the first time to the Captain of the current 1st XI, James Smith. We are sure that this new trophy will be hard fought over in years to come, and that Daniel and the OB team will bounce back to fight another day!
The school fielded eight players but, due to a couple of last minute withdrawals, the OB team was only six strong. Some nifty rearranging of the side plus the willingness of a number of the OBs to play extra matches meant that a full match was able to be played. The OBs were again fairly strong, comprising three long standing stalwarts in Richard Kemp (39-46), Martin Wilkinson (54-62) and Graham Saunders (58-64), two relatively new stalwarts in Ali Jones (02-13) and Chris Davey (04-13), and one welcome new face in Hustin Bhatt (11-15) who is a recent leaver.
The match was much more hard fought and of a higher standard than recent encounters but, again, the experience of the OBs overcame the speed and fitness of the School. The final result was a win for the top ‘four’ by 123 points to 58 and similarly for the second ‘four’ by 86 to 54, making a total score of 209 to 112. The impression afterwards was that it had felt closer while in progress than the score suggests.
Some of the school team showed considerable promise and part of this may be due to a coaching session they had from Peter Mellor (57-62), one of the finest players the school has ever produced and a multiple Public Schools champion. You could not get a better mentor.
It was also again pleasing to see Tony Dawes (37-49), another of the greatest school players from the past and also a multiple Public Schools champion, on the day supporting both sides. My thanks go to both teams for making such a good contest and we anticipate even stiffer opposition next year.
Graham Saunders (58-64)
Jonno Davies (01-10), George Olney (00-11), Oliver Hopgood (04-11), Will Johnson (02-13), Angus Gill (06-15), Lucas Stewart (07-11), Tom Rossdale (06-11), James Lamond (04-15), Josh Enson (04-12), Alex Watson (01-12), along with a few other last-minute arrivals took part in the match.
Jonno did a great job in looking after the team and organising everyone as captain. Despite the rather late start it was a fantastic game – so evenly matched that it could have gone either way!
A great final score of 3-3.
The annual .22 target rifle shooting match between the School and OBs took place at the School Rifle Range on Saturday, 12th March 2016.
The assembled dozen or so OBs were on characteristically good form, though it has to be admitted that this was down largely to the prior copious lunch at the Three Tuns in Biddenham. For those OBs who started out target rifle shooting at School and who have continued shooting – in some cases well into their 60s – it’s also reassuring to return to the range with its familiar firing point and faint smell of cordite. Nostalgia aside, the OBs were anxious to avoid a repeat of the match 2 years earlier when the School had beaten them by an average of a couple of points.
Moving through the 4 details, it was clear that the result wasn’t a foregone conclusion. In the end, the OBs won with a score of 1,383 against the School’s 1,305 and, from the School, Tommy Hine was top scorer with an impressive 177 and, from the OBs, Phil Dawes (63-72) with 183.
It was excellent to see a few new faces among the OBs in addition to the old regulars. Even better is the continuing progress of School shooting under the expert guidance of Peter Lumley-Wood (84-89) who has done so much to move the Rifle Club forward. This is particularly gratifying to those OBs for whom target rifle shooting has remained an important sport throughout their lives. We look forward to welcoming more members to Bisley where the Bedfordians Rifle Club remains a powerful, if select, force that continues to yield shooters at county and national level.
A big thank you to both Peter and to Richard, Gina and all the OB Club staff for their continued support and warm hospitality – roll on next year’s match!
Julian Hilton-Johnson (79-82)