Brent Knoll Bowl
Team Captain Darragh Garrahy
Group 1 Alan Hopkins Darragh Coghlan
Group 2 Ian Smith, Cian Mc Cormack
Group 3 Cian Poland and Daire Creavin
Match 1 Vs. The Royal Navy
Poland and Creavin W 6&5
Ian and Cian L 1 Dn
Hopkins and Coghlan W 3&2
Match 2 Vs. Old Millfieldiands
Poland and Creavin W 4&3
Ian and Cian W 1 up
Hopkins and Coghlan L 3&2
Match 3 (Semi Final) Vs. Leather Jackets
Poland and Creavin W 2&1
Ian and Cian L 20th
Hopkins and Coghlan L 4&3
The BKB is a wonderful event and truly a tournament one can set their clock to. Played each year to coincide with the installation of daylight-saving time. Scarcely is a lost hour felt more than after several beverages with the prospect of an 8am tee time! Unfortunately, we were not granted the privilege of playing from the fairways with drop zones and mats enforced which was most unfortunate for our assembled team of ball strikers
Our team convened in the clubhouse on the Friday evening, the ever-earnest Darragh Coughlan joined Cian Poland earlier that day for a practice round as neither had played B&B before. Having won the scratch stableford last year DUGS were assured that we could not be drawn against reigning champions. Daire Creavin was the last to join us, coming by train he quickly made up for lost time and his first trip to the bar saw him return to the table with ‘a proposition’. There was a sole bottle of Kummel and we could kid ourselves, or accept our fate and buy the bottle. Several minutes later the bottle had DUGS written on the front and there was Kummel was in a glass beside each of our pints.
Our effort in the main event might have ended early, the first match was perhaps our toughest, The Royal Navy bringing a strong team as always with their very large pool to select from. Hopkins and Coghlan were steady in very poor weather going well up early on and holding on for the win despite their opponents strong comeback around the turn. Daire and Cian were very solid in winning their first match (on what was each of their first playing of the course!), this would be a sign of things to come from what proved our strongest pairing.
Our next opponents were the old Millfieldians, Aiden Neill, via text, informing us they would be another strong team. Hopkins was blown away by the 17 year-old who easily had him by 50+ yards off of the tee and his even younger playing partner (both of whom were Teetotal and county players) was also a very impressive golfer. They hung on to lose on 16. Creavin and Poland did their thing again winning early and so it was to Ian and Cian to keep our dreams alive and with high quality play over the closing holes and a birdie on 18 took the win.
That evening we sat tired in the dining room and our friends from the leatherjackets who we would be playing early the next morning began sending bottles of wine to our table. Not a group to look a gift horse in the mouth, we sampled thankfully, but having all been raised well, we treated the leatherjackets to a tray of Jager bombs (we later discovered for many of them it was their first ever JB, what a treat!). The leatherjackets made their leave of the bar early and we were reminded that not only were they more careful drinkers they had a professional on their team. A questionable addition perhaps.
In the morning Semi Final Hopkins and Coghlan found the going tough early in match 1, strong play from a pair of ex-county golfers saw them well down to what would have been a barrage of birdies… had several of the putts not already been conceded! Their own early birdie on the third was only good enough for a half. They would come back strongly after the 8th hole where they were 5 down but eventually succumbed on the 15th. Daire and Cian in group 1 played an exceptional back 9 (as they did all weekend) and finishing with two birdies completed an undefeated week as pairing 1. Chapeau! So, then it was back to Ian and Cian, the Islanders, to try and get us to the final. They battled all day and appeared the stronger pair when they went to extra holes having come close to the win on 18, however, some exceptional turns of luck on the 20th hole for the Leather Jackets (a drive that travelled as far right as it did forward that was left in between areas of heavy rough in a flat stance) saw our dream of a showdown in the final disappear. In some ways it was fortuitous as it would have been a final match against the Army, famously slow all week, those returning to Dublin would never have made their flight.
Notes for the organisers would be that a lot of these chaps on the other teams don’t understand the etiquette of foursomes, “our strategy is to both go back to the tee on every hole” a statement that nearly made poor Cian cough up his breakfast Kummel!
A great and heart-breaking weekend, the captain of the club again said he truly hopes we will be back next year to take another leap forward. In our second visit to the Brent Knoll Bowl more friends were made, and DUGS were known for the laughter from our table and a very strong performance both on the course and in the bar.