Present record comfortable victory over the Past
New Portugal Place, February 14th 2015
In the 66th year of this fixture the Present recorded a comfortable victory over the Past by 248-164 despite ‘resting’ Ben Beltrami & Matt Shaw, the British Universities Champions (which might have had something to do with the fact that it was Valentine’s Day!). Extraordinarily, among the spectators was Chris Metcalfe who played in the very first of these matches in 1949; though an undergraduate who made the Varsity side that year, Chris played for the Past who were a man short.
After the Singles the Present led by 60 points to 12, eleven of which Andy Pringle registered in his epic third string match against Jack Malde (“If we’d played to 11, I’d have won!”). Ed Kay and Jacob Brubert, meanwhile, were not being kind to either Tom Chase or Elliott Malone. Robert Mathias picked up the Past’s other point playing Tom Bury.
In the first round of Doubles the Past did what they always do in these fixtures: they pulled back points. Namely one! Much of the credit for this must go to Robert Mathias & Joe Gribble who gave Wilson Lau & James Tennison short shrift in the fourth pair clash and to Ian Jackson & Richard Kemp who belied their years to make up several points in defeating James Pinder & Tom Bury. In the 1st and 2nd pair clashes, though, the Present ( Ed Kay & Jacob Brubert, Jacob Ader & Jack Malde) were too strong for Chase & Malone (‘the Churchill Boys’) and Andy Pringle & Rod Oscroft.
After the turn the Past withdrew Chase, Malone and Kemp and rearranged their pairs. Andy Pringle & Joe Gribble took on Ed & Jacob (not very successfully!); Ian Jackson teamed up with Masters Champion Martin Wilkinson to take a fair number of points – but not enough – off Ader & Malde; James Price came in to partner an understandably tiring Robert Mathias against Pinder & Bury; Dave Hebden paired up with Rod Oscroft to show Wilson & James how the game is played. The Present’s overall strength was too much for the Past, however, and the points gap opened up once more. The Present have now won 27 of these contests for the Trapnell Tankard against 35 for the Past with 4 results unrecorded and one cancelled.
While the match was going on a Gentlemen’s IV took to the courts and contrived an exciting contest that ended something like 13-15, 16-15 to either Malone & Arnold or was it Chase & Robinson? It could have been Chase & Arnold, or else …….. . I seem to recall exactly the same happened last year with Robert Rigg, Paul Reeder, Gareth Quarry and Martin Wilkinson!