Blues vs. Hankley Common/Denham

On Saturday 22nd October the Blues readied themselves to go to Hankley Common for their final fixture before the clocks changed and their last opportunity of the term to play singles. Nick Winder, playing his first away fixture for the Blues, clearly got confused and thought he got an extra hour in bed on the Saturday too, and had to be woken up by the firm knock of the Secretary. The Captain, similarly wishing for that extra hour, had flown overnight from a conference in the Hague, to get straight onto the first tee.

Well slept, Winder went out top with Parkes and brought home an early victory. However the next four pairs of Hickman and Ebert, Groat and Kiguchi, Bastianello and Shah, and Maxwell and Neto Bradley failed to capitalise on the early lead and Cambridge were behind 4-1 at lunch.

After lunch Cambridge rolled out in the singles and were swiftly rolled over with the only matches not losing being against two former Blues, with Winder, really reaping the benefits of the lie in, taking his second point of the day against Nick Patrick, and Elliot Ebert (in his debut for the Blues) getting a half from David Duncan. Amidst cries of lingering loyalties from the Hankley Common side the Blues briefly licked their wounds and then moved on to rest up before heading to Denham Golf Club the next morning.

With the whole team feeling the benefit of the genuine extra hour in bed the team prepared for another competitive day of Denham foursomes. First out Maxwell and Hickman were beaten in a close match. Following close behind Parkes and Ebert found themselves 3 down at the turn. However Parkes, feeling a touch under the weather, took advantage of a stop at the halfway hut not to enjoy the pleasures of a Red Stripe but to collect medication from the clubhouse and, swigging from a bottle of cough syrup in spite of accusations of doping, managed to steady himself enough to take advantage of some long drives from Ebert so that the pair found themselves all square going down 18. With the Denham pairing in for par Ebert managed to roll in an 8 foot putt for the half. Winder and Groat followed them in with a loss, as did Bastianello and Kiguchi. With hopes in the clubhouse drooping only Shah and Neto-Bradley were left out on the course and with a “so bloody irritatingly” steady performance they managed to steal a late win to see Cambridge 3.5-1.5 down.

Buoyed by the glimmer of promise offered by this late win the Blues settled in to possibly the greatest challenge of the day, lunch. After a glorious banquet the now infamous Dirty Wolfs were ordered and the Cambridge boys began to realise the dwindling likelihood of a strong performance that afternoon.

Seeming to confirm these fears of hampered performances Groat and Bastianello relinquished an early loss, as did Ebert and Maxwell. However the fresher pairing of Winder and Hickman, livers obviously now well accustomed to university life, stopped the rot and achieved a strong win, and Kiguchi and Neto-Bradley managed to seize the momentum and follow them in with yet another. With the post-lunch score standing at 2-2 the pressure fell on the CUGC veterans Shah and Parkes, now well experienced in the Denham lunch, to attempt to secure the unheard of: a team ‘lunching’ better than Denham. And indeed on the last Shah, in a final display of steely determination, holed a 4 foot putt for the win and CUGC, despite narrowly losing the match 5.5-4.5 overall, were able to depart pleased with their afternoon’s work.