Written by Chris Pett (H. 1962-67)
Wednesday, 01 June 2011

In this year's Cyril Gray Trophy (team scratch matchplay foursomes for the more mature golfer) Brighton faced a tough battle against regular finalists Stowe in the 1st Round. So it proved. Warwick Sabey (B. 1959-65 )and Geoffrey Bush (H. 1965-70) played first pair and lost to some very steady par play. Nigel Dearsly (L. 1960-65) and Robin Colbourne (H. 1960-65) played second and went down quite close to home. Chris Pett (H. 1962-67) and newcomer Adrian Wood (A. 1971-76) played well and were all square after 17 and called it a half when the top two games had gone. 2½ - ½ to Stowe.

And so into the Plate event where the 1st Round saw all three pairs win convincingly against Trent. The 2nd Round against Ampleforth was much closer but saw the OBs win 2-1, Nigel and Robin winning a nailbiter on the last green to clinch it.

On the Saturday for the semi-finals we were without our captain Robin due to a commitment back home so Adrian White (C. 1960-65) manfully stepped into the breach. It dawned grey and murky and was only marginally brighter when Geoffrey and Warwick led off the attack against Rossall, another team with a good record in the event. Against a pair whose combined handicap was less than either of theirs, they were soon down but rallied around the turn and were all square with a few to play. One down playing the last hole, they could manage only a half there and lost 1 down.

In the game behind, Chris and Adrian were three down after eight holes but rallied after the turn, winning four holes on the spin and were one up with five to go. Great play from their opponents then saw them go one down again but winning the 17th and a tense half at the 18th saw them off down the 19th. Alas, a bunkered drive there meant that a par was beyond them and their opponents secured their second point and victory.

This was despite heroic efforts in the third game where Nigel and Adrian White, having been up early on, had been pegged back and were clinging to a lead. Losses over the closing holes saw them also finish the regulation 18 holes all square and set off down the 19th, before the result of the match in front was known. Their game was declared a half once the match result was settled. Though 2½ - ½ , it couldn't have been much closer.

So we left Worplesdon again empty-handed but still feeling that we are a match for almost any school in this event. With a fair breeze who knows what could still happen.

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