RAF Coningsby Golf EastMidlands Alliance League

The 2011 golf season has been a successful one for RAF Coningsby East Midlands Alliance League Golf Team otherwise known as the Station 2nd team.

The Team is aimed at those players with Handicaps of 12 and above and is utilised as a feeder for the 1st Team as well as those with an interest in taking up representative Golf. April saw a great start to the season with 2 victories from 2 led by the able efforts of Barry Brown, Gary Fraiser, Kev Pleasant, Neil Williams, Chris Cobb and Captain Shaun Abernethy. Despite this good start, in later weeks, post severe handicap cuts, the team struggled with form resulting in a slump to the bottom of the league table by the halfway point. Determined not to finish in such a lowly position the Team rallied.

The Knockout Cup proved a turning point, with Shaun Smythe, Shaun Abernethy, Bill Laing, Arthur Daley and John Cox-Tomlinson proving to be pivotal members maintaining a high average throughout the season and ensuring the Teams progression through to the Final to face RAF Marham. For all of Captain Shaun Abernethy’s best efforts to get the match played at a neutral venue, RAF Marham’s inability to travel left 2 options: Play on separate courses and mail the scores in or travel to RAF Marham’s home course of Tydd St Giles. Obviously we took the latter choice and opted to play face to face. Departing full of confidence the Team of 10 arrived to be greeted by glorious sunshine and calm conditions. With some intriguing pairings the team went on to comfortably defeat RAF Marham on their home course with Shaun Smythe, Arthur Daley, Bill Laing and John Cox-Tomlinson proving to be the key players on the day, much to the delight of Captain Shaun Abernethy.

Post the Cup victory the league campaign resumed and with more and more people new to competitive golf showing an interest in taking up this sport of gentleman (and Ladies). Jo Evans became the teams first lady team member, unfortunately she did not play in any matches this year due to having no handicap, however having gained a satisfactory handicap of 33 she may well be the sombrero wearing bandit we call upon regularly for next season. Other new team members included Dale Wheildon who hit 41 points in one of his 1st matches and Kev Bailey who recorded a confidence boosting 35 points. With numbers growing to a healthy 36 members and the odd appearance by 1st team substitute Ricky “ I didn’t like my Ford Focus anyway”  Houston, the team were regularly getting 10 players plus turning out to fixtures and a climb up the league table ensued resulting in the team finishing a respectable 4th.

At the beginning of September 2 teams of 3 were entered for the RAFGA President’s Trophy held at Belton Woods. Sterling efforts from both Arthur Daley and Shaun Abernethy saw them finish 1st and 2nd respectively in the individual competition, however as they were on separate teams meant no Coningsby team won the overall event but the Team Comprising Shaun Abernethy, John Cox-Tomlinson and Kev Bailey did manage a credible 3rd place.

With one more competition to play for, the Challenge cup played at the presentation day at Stapleford Park, confidence was high once more. Arriving at the European Seniors Tour Event Course conditions were blustery to say the least. The team comprising of Shaun Abernethy, Steve Dickinson, Barry Brown, Eric Feeney, Neil Williams, Arthur Daley and Bill Laing were not daunted by the course or conditions and posted very respectable scores and ensured another Trophy was once more heading back to RAF Coningsby.

So the season over and despite a slow start, the 2 cup victories were well deserved and everyone involved throughout the whole team is to be congratulated on a successful season and a thanks to all those that turned up to gain handicaps to enable them to play next year, you will all be invaluable to the continuing success of the team and who knows perhaps some will gain the opportunity to represent the 1st team as handicaps improve, we look forward to seeing you all next season.

On a final note we would like to take this opportunity to say a special thanks to 2 individuals who fulfil 2 key roles. WO Neil Williams who as Treasurer and all round team stalwart has done a lot of work for the team throughout the years and is sadly leaving the RAF and will be sorely missed and to Mr Bill Laing who as vice captain has again stepped up when necessary to lead the team (he would like to point out he was undefeated when he was in charge!) is also stepping down from his role. We wish them all the best and once again thank them for all their efforts.

As a new season is shortly upon us we would welcome all new players expressing an interest in representing RAF Coningsby at this level and for anybody interested in representing the Station should contact the new Team Captain Chf Tech ‘Arthur’ Daley in TTF ext 6163.