University Golf Club retain trophy
Northcote Trophy retained by students
The Northcote Trophy was retained by the students in the 11th playing of the Northcote Trophy between the University Golf Club and University Alumni Society that took place this May. In this article we review the matches, highlights, and share the final scores.
The 11th playing of the Northcote Trophy between the University Golf Club and University Alumni Society was played over the challenging East Devon and Warren Golf Clubs over the Early May Bank Holiday weekend. Both teams brought plenty of experience to the match and some form of rotation was produced by both captains to give all freshers on either team a game.
Saturday's fourballs at East Devon produced some excellent birdie festival golf on the fast running healthland course at Budleigh Salterton. An early one-hole win for the new pairing of Brian Stopp and Jack Sears gave the Alumni an early lead. The students bounced back in match 2 with a comfortable 3&2 win and when match 3 was halved with some tenacious play by Mark Taylor and Dan Coleman everything was to play for.
The experienced pairing of John Gilbert and Chris Hayter grinded out a 2&1 win in match 4 over University Club Captain Oli Smith and Felix Suther-Jones in a match described as 'intense'! With the students requiring a win to tie the four balls Harry Gibbon and Matt Gamble duly delivered. Gibbon and Gamble may sound like a London law firm but their close partnership produced birdie after birdie to see off the Alumni team.
Four ball result – University 2.5 v 2.5 Alumni
After further pressure being plied on the University Golf Club team by experienced alumni Rod Alexander and John Gilbert post four ball finish it was predicted the Alumni might handle the tricky conditions at the Warren GC best come Sunday morning.
Alumni captain, Craig Townsend sent out the big guns to try and gain an advantage early in the singles matches. Taylor, Alexander and Duncan Goldsworthy produced the goods in matches that ended up closer to Exmouth than Dawlish! Water taxi home for some…. Townsend dropped his first singles point in 4 years with incoming University Captain James Porter putting him to the sword with some extraordinary shot making on the 16th green.
Matches 5 to 8 were close affairs with students Curry, Sheedy and Suther-Jones winning vital points while Ben Alexander squeezed out a one-hole win on the last over Ollie Driscoll. All tied up again with two matches to play.
There was strength in both tails and in true Northcote Trophy fashion it went down to the last green. Alumni MVP for the weekend Chris Hayter won his second point of the weekend with a 2&1 win over Oli Smith. Smith will return I’m sure but it may well be in Hayter’s side in the future! Maybe as a dream pairing! Final match, final green, final putt. Alumni Brian Stopp was in the driving seat just short of the 18th green in two when University MVP Harry Gibbon produced an astonishing birdie 3. After firing his second shot of the greenside wall at the 18th, he then pounced with a 25ft bouncing bomb of a putt. One-hole win for Gibbon. Honors’ square at 7.5 points each with the University Golf Club retaining the trophy for 2019.
Special thank you to both golf clubs and staff who looked after us over the weekend. And to all Alumni and students who made some long journeys to participate in this illustrious match.
Singles result – University 5 v 5 Alumni
Final result – University 7.5 v 7.5 Alumni
Date: 15 May 2019