With the Blues squad having recently gone through their first coaching session with their new coach, Paul Ashwell, and with matches having been devised well in advance, anticipation was, as usual, high for the annual fixture against the Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October. Freshers’ were looking forward to their own small taste of the legendary Grew “flair” and the equally as legendary Barker ‘chat.’ For those more experienced it was a chance to catch up with old friends and team mates, and to settle old scores and rivalries.
In the morning the Secretary led off with Andre Neto-Bradley, a new recruit from the University of Edinburgh, to get the CUGC’s first point. Second out last year’s captain Chris Robertson was persuaded out of retirement and paired with Jamie Giddins and both quickly resurrected their form to get another win for the CUGC against James Woolsey and Andy Edmond. However the continental pairing of Bastianello and Descroix fell foul to the steadiness of 2013’s Captain James Cumberland’s steady golf combined with the already evident Grew flair. The now regular Canford pairing of Entwisle and Groat succumbed to the golf of Pearmain and Silver. Maxwell led out late in the field with another debutant, Nick Winder, and the tactic paid off with them beating the Society Captain Richard Bisson and Cambridge’s traitor Adam Barker. Trinkwon and Slim, out last, lost to bring the first round to a friendly 3-3 half.
After lunch everyone readied themselves for a huge session of afternoon singles. Maxwell got the team off to a strong start with an early win against Edmond. Parkes followed out and after 9 was sitting comfortably in the lead, with Chris Bellingham possibly regretting his recollection in the clubhouse of the last few years when he had never shot above 69. However a blistering start to the back 9 put the pressure on and Bellingham ended up winning on 17. This started what can only be described as the CUGC rout. Bastianello, Giddins, Trinkwon, Robertson, Neto-Bradley and Descroix all followed Parkes in without a point. Entwisle managed to save the team half a point against James Woolsey, and the 10 matches already in watched Richard Bisson come down the last against Chris Slim. Bisson, now well-seasoned as Captain, managed to perform in front of his team and secure yet another win for the Society, to the delight of Society President, Hamish Ritchie, who had come to watch the tense match unfold. This merely left Nick Winder and Tom Grew, who had clearly had an extended lunch, out on the course. A late charge from Grew on 17 and 18 saw the match halved and the OCGS holding a formidable 12.5-5.5 lead after day one.
With one side more pleased than the other at the day’s work both team happily retreated back to Peterhouse for the annual dinner. A sumptuous meal was capped off by speeches from the various captains, and a brief history of some club trophies given by Mike Morrisson, one of which, the Linskill Cup, was passed round with punch and received with enthusiasm moderated by how much of a concern Freshers’ Flu might be. From Peterhouse the whole group moved optimistically on to the Eagle, and as numbers dwindled a select few stalwarts found themselves in The Maypole, some even in Cindies, before eventually everyone retired to get ready for the next morning.
Despite a distinct lack of clear heads all miraculously found themselves the next morning sipping on a coffee with the traditional Worli breakfast, some biscuits. The weather very much mirrored some of the CUGC players’ enthusiasm, and the Society, perhaps slightly more accustomed to the slower mornings, handled the conditions significantly better to win the morning 4-2 and extend their overall lead to an insurmountable 16.5-7.5.
In the afternoon conditions cleared, another vintage Worlington lunch had revived spirits all round and the CUGC rallied themselves for the final 18. Maxwell and Giddins went out top losing to Bellingham and Barker, giving both Society members 2 points for the day. The pairing of Hickman and Parkes, buoyed by their recent performance at Huntercombe, secured a solid win against Woolsey and Cumberland. Trinkwon and Blake, Descroix and Shah, Bajaj and Kiguchi all came in vanquished. This merely left Entwisle and Slim to finish off the weekend for the CUGC. 1 up standing on the 18th tee against David Duncan and Tom Grew, whose ‘flair’ had regressed to a long series of fatted chips, the Cambridge pair ensured the CUGC finished representatively with Slim sending his drive out of bounds, in full view of the clubhouse, and with Entwisle having jogged back to the tee he followed his partner O.B. and the half was accepted.
Despite a heavy loss for the CUGC of 21-9 a fantastic weekend was had by all, even if the “serious fun” might have favoured one side slightly more than the other.