We took to the tee on Thursday morning, supported by a magnificent throng of OC’s, from the triumvirate of Rosenberg/Sweetland/Parry to the effervescent Bobby Stovold.  The colour quickly drained from Craig Moore’s normally glowing complexion as he realised he and Harry Millburn Fryer at 4th pair would face Ampleforth’s superstar, +4.5 handicap and Walker Cup squad member, David Hague.  Whilst Craig and Harry despite their valiant efforts eventually went down 4/3, other pairs were faring better.  Giles and James, our battering ram at top pair found themselves going down the 18th only to just come up short.  Adam and Tom won on 18, the latter expertly guided around by Matthew Hansford, our 12th man and non-playing captain for the match.  One of their opposition confessing later that, despite the beating he still intended to turn pro the following week!  Charlie and MFJ were about to head down the 19th (and may I say we had our opposition right where we wanted them 🙂), when sadly our 5th pair were vanquished on the 17th and the match was over.  It was a very close run thing.  
Ampleforth v Cranleigh – 1st round, Deal
MP Camacho & TG Davies  v GO Pickford & JF Boyle lost 2 Down
L Gerolla & LM Cova Tbarra v AE Kendrick & TH Cary won 1up
M Whittaker & C Minchella v C Craddock & MJ Ferguson Jones A/S 
HAF Jackson & D Hague v CD Moore & H Millburn Fryer lost 4/3
JWM Faulkner & ACM Faulkner v AJ Whitty & JA Richards lost 3/1

It should be noted that Ampleforth ended up being the losing finalists in 2019 for the third successive year (with the winners, Malvern exhibiting some Houdini-like escapology down the closing and extra holes).  One of their team told me that he was restricting himself to one pint of beer per day during the Hewitt, so perhaps Malvern were more worthy champions!

We went into the plate on Friday at Princes with enthusiasm, determined to build on our ‘youth policy’ and play our younger members, notably ‘blooding’ Cameron.  This approach was vindicated as we beat City of London 3-0

Pair 1 – GO Pickford & JF Boyle won 2&1
Pair 2 – C Craddock & CS Montgomerie won 3&2
Pair 3 – AE Kendrick & TH Cary won 5/4

On Friday afternoon we faced Oundle.  Again some rotation saw us unbeaten again.  Of particular note was Harry Millburn Fryer holing a clutch putt from 12ft at 16th and then hitting it to 4 feet at the par 3 17th

Pair 1 – AE Kendrick & H Millburn Fryer won 2/1
Pair 2 – C Craddock & CS Montgomerie  A/S
Pair 3 – CD Moore & JA Richards won 4/3

Saturday saw us up against Mill Hill, still at Princes.  Rough justice prevailed as despite 3 wins in a row we rested Adam.  It made little difference, all Cranleigh pairs were again unbeaten:

Pair 1 – GO Pickford & JF Boyle A/S
Pair 2 – MJ Ferguson Jones & H Millburn Fryer won 8/6
Pair 3 – CD Moore & JA Richards won 4/3
On Sunday we returned to Deal to play Lancing.  Again we continued to rotate, bringing in Tony Whitty.  Charlie and Cameron had an excellent win despite having got off to a slow start.  Sadly the other pairs suffered similar starts from which they would not recover.  We should take considerable comfort in the fact that Lancing went on to beat Epsom in the final of the plate.
Pair 1 – C Craddock & CS Montgomerie  won 3/2
Pair 2 – MJ Ferguson Jones & H Millburn Fryer lost 3/2
Pair 3 – AJ Whitty and AE Kendrick lost 3/2
Ultimately we came up short in the plate but we had a great run and played all 11 of the squad in it.  Cameron exits the 2019 HH, undefeated, an impressive debut.  We welcomed Harry Millburn Fryer back from the professional ranks and remembered how we missed him!

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