MFJ Reports: The Old Cranleighans went into the 2012 Halford Hewitt campaign with a spring in our step. Our squad balanced seasoned campaigners such as Martin Riddiford and Tony Whitty with rookies, Jamie Richards and James Boyle. Harry Millburn Fryer, Giles Pickford and Fraser Moore also were team members with only one previous Hewitt to their names and helped to reinforce the feeling of youth that pervaded the team (with an average age of under 30). However far more importantly, on paper the team represented one of our strongest sides for many years. Battle commenced on Thursday morning at Deal against Highgate in glorious sunshine and a modest breeze. Historically of a similar standard to Cranleigh, a strong performance by 2nd pair Tony Whitty and Craig Moore, a workmanlike performance by our top pair of Fraser Moore and Adam Kendrick and a truly sparkling display by our 4th pair of Harry Millburn Fryer and Jamie Richards, saw us through 3-2. Indeed the 4th pair of Highgate were genuinely shell-shocked by the number of putts that were holed against them as they were beaten 3/2!
We advanced to the second round with a some trepidation as we faced the holders, Watsons, but hearted by our first round performance and the knowledge that they were perhaps one or two short of their strongest team. We fielded the same team once again, with a slight tweak to our order. Fraser and Adam, our battering ram of a first pair, went up a couple of gears and crushed the Watsons pair 4/2. Unfortunately our fourth pair of Harry and Jamie were unable to recreate their heroics of the previous day and ‘The Loop’ swung Tony and Craig’s match awat from them at the back. James and myself gave our opposition too much of a head start for the 2nd day in a row whilst Giles and Martin gamely fought on but succumbed down the 18th.
I think we can hold our heads high and look to the the future with optimism. We weren’t undone by birdies and eagles, 64 degree wedges that span back into the cup, or 3 woods that nestled up to the pins at par threes. Quite simply they played smarter foursomes golf – never taking their partner out of the hole, making pars and letting the opposition make the mistakes. I hope we’ll be even better at that next year!