He’s usually spotted working his magic at the coffee machine in the Food Gallery, but in his spare time Richard Holman works a very different kind of magic on the hockey field.
Richard Holman is Captain of Marlborough Hockey Club and as the new season draws closer, the Club are keen to recruit new members: “We’re looking for players of all ages, all abilities – men and women, girls and boys.”
At present the Club has 80 members and a most encouraging list of 250 junior members. The split among senior members is about half-and-half men and women.
The Club fields three men’s and three ladies’ teams and a raft of junior teams representing the different age groups. Last season the first men’s team failed to keep their place in the Davis Wood Championship Division and so next season they’ll be playing in the North Conference Division.
The first team has lost one of their star players. Will Seward, who has played for the England under-18 team. Will has moved to the City of Bath Hockey Club which is a national league team.
The Club are sad to see him go, but proud to have nurtured such a great talent.
Last season Marlborough’s two senior ladies teams both won their leagues and have been promoted.
The Club shares the clubhouse at Marlborough’s cricket ground. And next season’s home games and practice sessions will be on Marlborough College’s two newly re-surfaced all-weather pitches.
First date in the Club’s 2013-2014 season calendar is the Club Day starting at 11.00 am at Marlborough College on Saturday, August 31 – for details see the flyer below.
And as if Richard wasn’t busy enough with all that coffee and with the Club, next Saturday (August 10) he’s getting married to his fiancée, Christina. Have a happy marriage – and a successful hockey season.
The competition had a record entry of 47 boys and girls from golf clubs in the Marlborough area and beyond.
The Thistle Trophy for the best gross score was won by Jack Seaman (Wrag Barn) with 75. Second was Jamie Amor (Marlborough) with 76. Third was Lee Cowan (Marlborough) with 76. Jamie Amor clinched second place with a better score on the back nine.
Freddie’s Cup (named after the Club’s much-loved patron Freddie Boardman) is presented for the best nett score. It was won by Oli Morris (Marlborough) with 65 off a 25 handicap (winning on count back). Second was Edward Faulkner (Marlborough) with 65 off a 26 handicap. Third was James Webb (Ogbourne Downs) with 69 off an 18 handicap.
The best girl’s score in this competition was Natasha Chapman’s 72 nett off a 10 handicap.
Alexandra Feltham (Salisbury and South Wilts GC) won the nearest the pin competition at the fifth hole.
The putting competition was shared by James Webb (Ogbourne Downs) and Henry Palmer (Salisbury & South Wilts) – both with 16 for 9 holes.
Ben Amor (copyright Leaderboard Photography)The England Golf’s prestigious Carris Trophy has been won by Marlborough Golf Club’s Ben Amor. The 72 hole, stroke play competition is open to boy amateur golfers of all nationalities who are under-18 at the beginning of the year.
Ben is the elder son of Simon Amor, Marlborough Golf Club’s resident professional. Ben was a former pupil at St John's Academy and has just finished a two year course studying at Filton College in Bristol. His brother Jamie is still at St John's.
Ben is Marlborough Golf Club's Juniors' Captain. His victory earns him the title 'English Boy Champion'.
For the second successive year, extra holes were required on the fourth day of the championship to decide the Carris Trophy at West Lancashire Golf Club. In the three-way, two hole play-off Ben Amor came up trumps to secure the biggest win of his young career.
Ben had finished tied on 286, two under par, with Italy’s Renato Paratore and Jamie Li from Bath. Paratore was eliminated with a bogey five after an errant drive at the par four tenth, which left a head-to-head battle between the two West Country boys.
At the short 17th, the second playoff hole, Li missed the green with his tee shot and took three more to get down for bogey while a solid par was enough to see Amor home.
Ben Amor congratulated by his mother (copyright Leaderboard Photography)“I’m in shock but this win means a lot,” said Amor. “Words can’t describe it, but it is special. It was nice to win it at the 17th because it would have been a little difficult going down the 18th again. Jamie Li is a fine player and hit some quality shots, but I suppose everything clicked for me at the right time.”
Amor began the day tied with Paratore and fellow Italian Lorenzo Scalise but after an eagle at the second and a birdie at the fifth he had opened a three-shot advantage. He turned in 34 and was still in charge.
But he faltered on the homeward stretch with three bogeys in the last seven holes and while Paratore wasn’t setting the course on fire, the gap closed and the Italian drew level with a birdie-two at 17.
They were tied with one to play but neither could land the knockout blow. Although both had birdie chances on the final green before signing for 73s and then finding that Li had set the target with a fine 70 to set up the three-way tie.
After sealing his win, Amor paid tribute to Andy McGeorge, who posted 78 before rushing to Amor’s side to take on caddying duties: “On the 17th in the play-off I wanted to hit a seven iron but Andy convinced me it was an eight. It worked perfectly and I can’t thank him enough.”
The three-way two hole play-off brought on some nerves: “But having worked so hard on my game and the backing I have received from my parents, it’s nice to see I’m getting some rewards.”
(Thanks to Leaderboard Photography for permission to use the photo. More Carris Trophy photos here.)
Marlborough bounced back from last week's defeat against Burbage with victory away at Devizes.
After winning the toss and deciding to bowl Marlborough had Devizes in early trouble at 4-1 with Will Langton taking the vital wicket of Joe Wookey. Opener Tom Grant hit 46 for the home side and Jon Bedrook 20, James Langan 19 and Tom Andrew 14 all got starts for Devizes but failed to push on as Marlborough spinner Mike Bush took charge with 6-24 as Devizes lower order crumbled to 122 all out with youngster Fraser Gordon 2-26, Alex Cox 1-31 and Langton 1-24 the other wicket takers for Marlborough.
In reply Marlborough skipper Tom Norris 22 helped to see off the new ball at the top of the order with Bob Homani 30, Peter Day 38 not out and George Penfold 19 not out helping to see Marlborough comfortably home in the 37th over for the loss of 3 wickets with Ben McGowen 1-21, Tim Saye 1-36 and Kyle Pack 1-23 the wicket takers for the home side. Marlborough skipper Norris said "It was good to be back to winning ways and hopefully we can go on another winning run".
Young tennis star George Wardley, hockey star Rachel Cox and swimmer Ella Duncan-Zaleski with Sports Forum chairman Andrew RossIn a week that Andy Murray won the nation's heart by winning the men's singles final at Wimbledon, Marlborough's Sports Forum has awarded a grant to up-and-coming tennis star George Wardley.
The 10 year old, who attends Ramsbury School, told the forum – made up of representatives from all of Marlborough's major sports clubs – that he trains four or five times a week, and was hoping to play in regional tournaments next season.
And the rising star, who already competes at county level, is already used to giving interviews, having appeared on BBC Radio Wiltshire just prior to, and following, Murray's Wimbledon win.
There were also grants for St John's schoolgirls Ella Duncan-Zaleski and Rachel Cox.
Swimmer Ella, from Marlborough, represents the county at backstroke, and may compete at regional level if she can shave a vital second off her time.
Hockey player Rachel plays in midfield or defence for the south west of England squad, and trains at the Junior Regional Performance Centre in Bristol. She is aiming for a place with with the national under 16s squad.
There was a second grant for another young hockey star, Will Seward, whose cheque was collected by his proud father, Peter.
Will was unable to attend the Sports Forum AGM, which was held at Marlborough Town Hall on Thursday (July 11) because he was representing the UK under 18s in a three-match tournament against Germany.
Since last year, Will has left Marlborough Hockey Club to play for the Bath Buccaneers, and his juggling his success on the hockey field with AS levels at St John's Academy.
This year's grants – which are awarded to help the town's young sports stars meet the costs of kit and equipment, travel, and other costs associated with performing at a regional or national level – were made possible thanks to a fundraising dinner held at Marlborough Town Hall last October, at which cricket star Mike Gatting was the guest speaker.
Town councillor Andrew Ross, who presented the awards to the young sporting stars, said the £6,000 raised by the event was 'truly remarkable', and a sum the forum hoped to repeat.
Grants of £500 were also awarded to a couple of the town's newest sports clubs: the netball club and boxing club.
Both sides were left frustrated as the weather emerged the winner in the derby clash between Marlborough and Great Bedwyn in the match kindly sponsored by The Bell at Ramsbury.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat Bedwyn posted 209 for 9 off their 50 overs thanks largely to batting star Rob Palmer who hit a sparkling 113 not out.
Palmer received important support from John Palmer 28 and Chris Blundy 31 with Seamer Alex Cox 3-40 and all rounder Ben Head 2-26 leading the bowling for the home side.
Marlborough began their reply under greying skies but by the 14 th over were looking in good shape at 65-1 with skipper Tom Norris 34 not out and Bob Homani 21 not out well set.
However the skies then opened and continued heavy rain meant that the game had to be abandoned with no result possible.
Amidst the recent celebrations at Marlborough Golf Club – a new vehicle has appeared. It’s the club’s golf GOLF CLUB BALL COLLECTOR 800jpgball collecting vehicle for its new practice ground.
It’s been an exciting few days for the club: their Juniors’ Captain, Ben Amor, won a prestigious international trophy, it’s their 125th birthday year and they have just opened their new practice ground.
Marlborough Golf Club rents the land for its course on the Common from the Town Council. The Club is run by the members and is a non-profit organisation. Effectively it is a charity and has to be open and affordable to the general public.
So its bar – with some of the best views in the area – has a general rather than a club licence. And the club house serves popular Sunday lunches to all comers.
Les Trute and Simon Amor on one of the practice tee matsThe new practice ground with eight tee mats is also open to all comers. A basket of golf balls costs £2 and a bigger basket costs £3.50. And there’s that machine for collecting the balls with strong protection for its driver in case anyone’s too enthusiastic driving from the practice mats.
This practice ground joins the club’s practice chipping area and putting green as a first rate encouragement to youngsters and more mature golfers alike.
The club has 750 members – of which 80 are women. It has 70 junior members – of which two are girls. The membership fee for each adult member includes free golf for one child up to the age of sixteen.
The Club is currently working on a special offer for junior girl members. Golf is not considered too cool among teenage girls: “You need a few,” says Les Trute, the club’s general manager, “to encourage a few more.”
The Marlborough's Junior Open Championship has a top prize of a year’s free membership – regardless of where the winner is from.
The eye-catching club house was opened in 1988 – in time for the centenary celebrations. Two years ago they set out on a three stage modernisation programme. They’ve achieved all three ambitions: they have proper disabled access; they’ve brought the toilets up to spec; and now they have their properly equipped driving ground.
Simon Amor is the Club’s resident professional providing individual or group tuition. The club employs five green staff. The Head Green Keeper is Robin Greaves who before joining Marlborough Golf Club had designed two courses near Bristol and sometimes goes as a consultant to other clubs.
General manager Les Trute describes Greaves as a ‘wizard’ who keeps the grass good and the greens true.
There are 27 golf clubs in Wiltshire and in a survey five years ago the Marlborough Golf Club was named as the friendliest club in the county - by its own members. And that’s a record they are very keen to keep up.
Ladies vice-captain Mandy Cooper tees offThe Club was founded in 1888 and members are proud of their Victorian heritage. So much so that on one of July’s hottest days they held a Victorian Ladies day sponsored by Hills – see below for a photograph of the full Victorian turnout.
The costumes were spectacular – and fines were imposed for any of the ladies who thought their swing might be better without a cartwheel hat or a ground length skirt and removed some of their costume.
The winner of the 18 hole competition was the team of Gwen Stuart, Sue Lyons and Jilly Hunter.
Victorian Ladies' Day at Marlborough Golf Club
Women’s Back to Netball sessions start again in Marlborough from September, with the option of two different sessions to attend.
Back to Netball is a fun session that is aimed at those people who used to play the game, perhaps at school, or who have never played the game before and would like to start.
Back to Netball sessions will be held at Marlborough Leisure Centre on Monday mornings from 11.15am to 12.15pm, and on Wednesday evenings between 8pm and 9pm, and cost £3 per session.
Marlborough's eight-game winning streak came to an end with defeat against local rivals Burbage in the game sponsored by Chris's Barber Shop of Marlborough High Street.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat Marlborough were in early trouble at 25-4 but Peter Day 34 and George Penfold 28 steadied the ship for the home side.
At 119-8 the hosts were still in trouble but Ben Head 27 not out ensured that Marlborough reached 157-9 off their 50 overs with Burbage skipper Tom Wallbridge 3-26, Darren Freegard 3-27 and Akash Sharma 3-50 taking the wickets for the visitors.
In reply Burbage opener David Cope 44, overseas star Michael Papps 68 not out and Daniel Wootton 26 not out helped Burbage reach their victory target for the loss of just 2 wickets with Head 1-31 and Tom Davies 1-21 the wickets takers for Marlborough.
Speaking after the game Marlborough skipper Tom Norris said: "We just didn't turn up and our top 4 got blown away. It's disappointing but we have to move on and put another run together and I'm sure there will be lots of twists before the end of the season"
It's now eight wins on the bounce for Marlborough after a 36 run victory away at Calne.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat Marlborough skipper Tom Norris 31 and overseas star Bob Homani 61 put the visitors in a position to build on.
But with the middle order dismissed cheaply the contributions of Mike Bush 21 and Ben Head 17 lower down the order were important as Marlborough reached 186 before being bowled out with Tom Knott 3-16 the leading bowler for the hosts with Thomas Richards 2-38 and Darren Holcombe 2-24 giving good support.
In reply for Calne Richards 26, George Sykes 20, Sean Adams 17 and Daniel Knight 17 all made starts but were unable to make the big score Calne needed as Homani 4-33, George Fox 3-37 and Harrison Painter 2-32 ensured that Calne were dismissed for 150 in the 47th over.
Marlborough skipper Norris said " it was a below par performance but we won when playing badly".