Week 4 - Royal Porthcawl

Result: Loss 10 - 8

Keen to avoid an unholy early start on Saturday morning, the blues left Oxford for their fixture at Royal Porthcawl on Friday evening. One car's hopes of an early night in the dormy house were scuppered, however, when Crummey announced after 90 minutes on the road that he'd forgotten his clubs. Quickly forgiven due to his legitimate claim that he'd been distracted by Biggie Smalls' "Juicy", which had been playing when he was picked up, the car headed back to Oxford and only made it to Porthcawl in the smalls hours of Saturday morning. A few hours later, the team gathered for breakfast in Porthcawl's stunning dinning room which boasts panoramic views over Porthcawl beach, the 1st fairway and Port Talbert steel works. Hoping to bounce back from the previous year's heavy defeat at the hands of the blues, the home club called in the help of a few of the under 18 Welsh internationals who are also members of the club, leaving Oxford with a tough match ahead of them. The morning foursomes was played out under heavy rain which made scoring difficult on an already tough golf course. The first point of the day went Oxford's way when South African Coenraad Van Wyk, who found out during the course of the round that his sister had gone into labour, and Crummey, atoning for his previous night's blunder, overpowered their opposition. Ryan and Kamm, however, fell prey to the young internationals, as did Van Wijk and Charteris-Black putting the match back in favour of Porthcawl. A point from prolific scorer Cansfield and his partner Hardy and a further half from Wilson and Bastianello left the score at 2.5-3.5 to the club at lunch. After a quick soup and sandwiches, the afternoon got underway, now under blue skies. Oxford's top order put in a strong showing, with the dark blues taking 2.5 out of the first 3 points. The bottom half did not fair quite so well though, with only Reynolds and Kamm able to add another half point to this total. That left the state of the match at 5.5-6.5 to Porthcawl after the first day's play. Soon after the end of play, the teams hurried into the common room to watch the Welsh take on the Springboks just down the road in Cardiff. As the members grew more and more agitated at their side's failure to get over the line, the Oxford boys were left contemplating just how to hit soft cuts as accurate as Leigh Halfpenny's. Fearing that he might turn into a Stoke fan in the company of Billy Bright, Van Wyk saved his celebrations over the bok's victory for later on in the evening. The team were then treated to a fabulous black tie dinner and generous after dinner drinks in the bottomless green armchairs that furnish the clubhouse before heading on to one of Porthcawl's other Royal venues, Streets nightclub. An eventful evening ensued, with Van Wyk finding out he had at last become an uncle and Charteris-Black deciding to give the staff his opinions on the club's carpet colour scheme. It was then off to bed before the decisive Sunday morning foursomes. The weather was stunning for the third and final round, highlighting the natural splendor of the course. Needing to win the session 4-2 to win the match, Oxford didn't get off to a great start when the first two matches went the way of the club. Van Wijk and Hardy as well as Cansfield and Nichamin put wins on the board for Oxford, however, to keep hopes of a comeback alive. The club proved too strong, though, with only Ryan and Crummey able to win a further half in the remaining matches. That meant that the club had won the fixture by a scoreline of 10 matches to 8.


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