A first round draw against Canford offered some ground for optimism that we would progress this year. As is usual, there were some players unavailable that we might have liked to include, though we still raised a fair team of mostly middle single-figure players. Unfortunately, hopes were dashed again. In a very stiff north-easterly wind that made maintaining rhythm extremely difficult and the front nine at Royal Cinque Ports seriously testing (many a good drive failed to reach the third and fifth fairways), we went down 5-0, though not without some individual heroics. The fact was that Canford's highest handicap was lower than all but one of ours!
We welcomed Patrick Spencer for the first time this year. To give him an idea of what the Hewitt can be like, we sent him out at top pair with Andy Sweet and they revelled in the spearhead responsibility, only losing a great match in which they had been up most of the way on the last green. We look forward to him joining us again. Geoffrey Bush and our star, Riaz Rattansi played well against very classy opposition but lost 3/2. We tried the Julians, Hunt and Tate, at third pair with much expectation but they failed to gel, Julian T appearing out of sorts, and went down 5/4. The older stagers Chris Pett and Robin Colbourne held on to a slender lead for much of their match, aided by some remarkable chipping and putting, but the power downwind of their opponents on the lengthy home stretch (one opposing drive measured over 360 yds) finally saw them go down 2/1, and Chris Gates and Chris Long didn't disgrace themselves but were outclassed in going down 3/2.
Thus it was into the Plate competition again, this time against Rossall in the first round. We had beaten them in this event quite recently, but this time they showed more of the class one expected from a team that has several times been a finalist in the main event to show, and the tables were turned. A 3-0 defeat saw us licking our wounds and off home on the Friday for the first time in many years. We shall be back.