University of Exeter Students defeat Alumni in Annual Northcote Golf event

University of Exeter Students defeat Alumni in Annual Northcote Golf event

While missing Alumni Captain and master strategist Rod Alexander, this year’s Alumni team responded well to his absence, in what was a very closely contested and enjoyable weekend of team golf .The event was held at Dawlish Warren Golf Club, with this year’s trophy being competed for by a record number of players – 14 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday.

Saturday’s four balls saw the Alumni take a 4 ½ - 2 ½ lead with Craig Townsend and Geoff Wyborn putting an early point on the board, doubled in the second match by James Wallace and Mark Taylor. A hard earned half by Ben Leigh and Martin Wright followed by a win for Roger Peek and Chris Hayter gave the alumni team a flying start.

Inspired play by Northcote Trophy student debutants Henri Cooke and James Cruickshank gave the students their first point followed by a win for student debutants Alex Sanders and James Blyth. In the final four ball Sean Mason’s exceptional putting helped to bring him and partner John Gilbert to a 1 hole victory and the bragging rights as the teams came together to enjoy a very convivial meal on Saturday night.

The University students regrouped and sprung some surprise on Sunday by introducing some fresh faces with a mix of low and higher handicap players which certainly was a tactic the alumni hadn’t anticipated. Strong performances by Henri Cooke, Molly Haslam, Adam Meadows and Captain Nick Wildman brought the students right back into the match. With the final two matches out on the course it was still all to play for!

Alumni captain John Gilbert and debutant alumni Simon Hudd required wins down the last to half the match. They both came up short as University coach Steve Buzza squared his match, and Tom Foot again producing another par hole, recording a half, resulting in the University team regaining the Northcote Trophy for the first time in 3 years by 10 ½ - 8 ½.

While sorry to give up the Northcote Trophy Alumni Captain John Gilbert was delighted with the support for the Trophy and performance of the alumni team, especially from the younger alumni who will be key players in the coming years. He was also impressed with the manner student captain Nick Wildman approached winning back the Trophy and the depth of student golfing talent.

“Establishing the alumni golf day and the Northcote Trophy has brought together different generations of alumni and students and helped to build Exeter’s reputation as a top UK golfing university. My congratulations to Nick and his winning team, it has been a memorable contest and we look forward to returning next year when we hope to regain the Trophy. Lessons have been learned!”

Craig Townsend Alumni team member and University of Exeter Golf Manager commented, “Just like a classic Ryder Cup the match swung both ways with each team gaining momentum. It was a fantastic weekend with a great atmosphere and the Alumni team were always going to be up against the university who have had a great season and finished first in the UK again. Roll on the Alumni Golf Day at St. Georges Hill.”


Northcote Trophy 2015 – Alumni v University

Saturday 25th – Fourballs : 2.5 University v Alumni 4.5

Jack Irwin (Captain) / Joe Davis v Craig Townsend / Geoff Wyborn won 2 holes
Molly Haslam / Chris Fleming v James Wallace /Mark Taylor won 1 up
Adam Meadows / James-Steve Beck Half v Ben Leigh / Martin Wright Half
Nick Wildman / Stuart Patrick v Roger Peek / Chris Hayter won 2&1
Henri Cooke / James Cruickshank won 4&3 v Brian Stopp / Simon Hurd
Alex Saunders / James Blyth won 2&1 v John Wakeley / Philip Kimberley
Ben Smith / Steve Buzza v Sean Mason /John Gilbert won 1 up

Sunday 26th – Singles: 8 University v Alumni 4

James Beck v Craig Townsend won 2&1
Stuart Patrick won 1 hole v John Wakeley
Molly Haslam won 5&4 v Dave Watson
Adam Meadows won 3&2 v Roger Peek
James Cruikshank v Brian Stopp won 2&1
Henri Cooke won 8&6 v Geoff Wyborn
Nick Wildman won 2&1 v James Wallace
Sam Collins v Ben Leigh won 4&3
Jack Ravenscroft won 3&2 v Martin Wright
Will Chivers won 4&2 v Phillip Kimberley
Steve Buzza Half v Simon Hudd Half
Tom Foot Half V John Gilbert Half

Final – 10.5 University v Alumni 8.5

Date: 26 May 2015