Halford Hewitt Cup 2018
Following the now firmly established pre-Hewitt warm up fixture in Spain the Team were eager to start and repeat last years Hewitt success but go one step further!
It was especially pleasing to welcome back Simon Hardy to the Team who had been showing fine form with lots of golf over the winter. The following Team was selected to represent the Society:
Top Row Left to Right: H A F Jackson, J M W Faulkner, S R F Hardy, M P Camacho, L Gerolla
Front Row Left to Right: A M F Faulkner, C Minchella, M Whittaker (Captain), D Hague, G P J Hattrell
FIRST ROUND – Thursday, 5th April
Match Result - Ampleforth 5 v Westminster 0
It was thrilling to repeat last year`s first round 5-0 victory against a very strong Westminster team. On conclusion of play Fr Edward was keen to organise a team photo and after finally managing to round up the troops with the exception of James Faulkner, the following photo was produced in front of Royal St George’s Clubhouse.
ROUND 2 - Friday 6th April
Match Result - Ampleforth 4½ v St Paul’s ½
Once again another exceptional Team performance remaining unbeaten throughout. After the customary post match drink with the opposition, the Team excitedly headed towards Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club where the remaining matches over the weekend would be contested for an afternoon on the practice putting green.
ROUND 3 – Saturday 7th April
Match Result - Ampleforth 3 v Canford 2
In the Captain’s view this turned out to be the toughest match with some truly exceptional golf being displayed throughout the Team. Match 2 was all square playing the 17th a magnificent 40 foot birdie putt by David put them 1 up playing the 18th where a solid par 4 was good enough to win 1 up. Meanwhile the Faulkner brother`s were in majestic form cruising to a handsome victory and it was left to the newly adopted Italian duo of Camacho and Gerolla playing in match 4 to seal victory for the team courtesy of a Camacho special 5 wood from 230 yards into the heart of the 18th green.
Match Result - Ampleforth 4 v Charterhouse 1
After a hard fought victory in Match 2 and a handsome victory with some fine golf coming from Match 5, Match 1 was venturing off down the 19th . Meanwhile Match 3 was 1 up playing the 17th where another spectacular birdie 3 by David & Hugh was enough to secure the team victory. Simon & George went on to prevail on the 19th with a solid par 4, whilst the opposition paid a visit to the water!
Once again we were through to the semi-final on Sunday morning and in keeping with last year the search for accommodation for Saturday evening began, the team were split up into the Dormy House at RCPGC along with friends and supporters houses for which we were all extremely grateful! The Captain made particular note that he would prevent this from happening next year!!
SEMI-FINAL -Sunday 8th April
We awoke to a rather dark and overcast Sunday morning and in the Captains words “it’s like being back in Manchester”. We were to play Epsom in the semi-final, a repeat of last years final and so came with it extra determination and drive to overcome that narrow and painful loss.
Match Result - Ampleforth 4 v Epsom 1
There was naturally extra incentive to overcome last year`s final defeat and the team responded magnificently, in particular the Captain recalls Christian holing a game changing 30 foot putt on the 14th for a half…..the top 3 games all went on to produce convincing victories over a previously 11 match undefeated span and strong Epsom team. Matches 4 & 5 were called in to rest the troops in preparation for the Final against Winchester in the afternoon.
FINAL – Sunday 8th April
Match Result - Ampleforth 1 v Winchester 4
Simon Hardy/George Hattrell - Lost 8&7
Mark Whittaker/Christian Minchella - Lost 3&2
Hugh Jackson/David Hague - Declared half on18th
James Faulkner/Alex Faulkner - Lost 3&2
Matthew Camacho/Luca Gerolla - 3 down with 3 to play – match declared a half
Alas the team didn`t quite produce the same quality golf in the final as in the previous rounds and we lost to a very strong and in-form Winchester team. Losing in the final was another bitter-sweet moment having shown everyone that last years result was no fluke yet at the same time not delivering when we needed to in the final.
Upon reflection The Captain is of the view the team were a little tired and flat in the final, both physically and mentally after some very tough competitive golf in getting there. The good news is that lots of lessons have been learnt and improvement to the future Teams preparations are already being put in place and we will be better equipped for it!
It is appropriate to say at this juncture how very fortunate I am to be able to captain such a wonderful team full of talent and an even better bunch of guys to play golf with! We all remain passionately determined to go one better in the Hewitt and to win it for both the Society and all the supporters who are and have always been there pushing us along the journey. With this wonderful help from the Society, the Hewitt Team is getting stronger and stronger each year with every player constantly seeking to improve, with perseverance and patience we will prevail!!
On behalf of the Hewitt Squad I would therefore like to take this opportunity of thanking all members of the Society for the continued and much appreciated support and encouragement…..God willing very soon we will lift that trophy and Ampleforth will be on the left hand side of the honours board rather than the right!!!
Thank you very much one and all, I wish you all a wonderful golfing season and roll on the Halford Hewitt of 2019.
And finally a very very special thank you to our most loyal and long standing supporter Fr Edward pictured enjoying this years Hewitt at Royal St Georges.
Mark Whittaker (J86)