Hambro Cup underdogs hit by bogey venue

GOLF: When James Wright heard that Stowmarket had been chosen as the venue for this Sunday's Hambro Cup final, he could afford a wry smile.He has bitter memories of past experiences at Stowmarket and described it as the "Rushmere graveyard.

GOLF

WHEN James Wright heard that Stowmarket had been chosen as the venue for this Sunday's Hambro Cup final, he could afford a wry smile.

He has bitter memories of past experiences at Stowmarket and described it as the "Rushmere graveyard."

James is hoping it's a case of fifth time lucky when Rushmere play the holders Stoke-by-Nayland because he has yet to be on the winning side in a Hambro final since he first started playing in 1993.

He recalls: "Rushmere lost to Woodbridge at Stowmarket in the 1994 final. Two years later we were beaten in the semi-final by Felixstowe at the same venue and in '96 we lost to Felixstowe in the final by one hole."

So no wonder the Rushmere team captain would have preferred any other course in the county.

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Stoke are the favourites, no doubt about that, and James accepts that Rushmere will be the underdogs.

But he said: "We've got as good side. There is a lot of enthusiasm and team spirit, and if we all play well then we can do the business."

James feels that a tighter course would have helped Rushmere's chances, but he is not going to allow the choice of venue to affect either his own or his team's chances.

"We went there a month ago and beat Stowmarket in the Stenson Shield. That should stand us in good stead."

Rushmere will stick to the side that beat Diss by five holes in the semi-final. It is: James Wright and Andrew Robinson, Shaun Jennings and Michael Buck, Will Wright and Ashley Durrant, Kevin Eagle and Danny Barton.

Rushmere are this year celebrating its 75th anniversary, hoping to complete a Hambro and Tolly Cobbold Cup double.

While the Hambro side may have their work cut out, the Tolly side will start as favourites to beat Haverhill in the final that will also be played at Stowmarket on the same day.

Whatever the outcome, it promises to be a very interesting final between the two strongest clubs at Hambro level in the county.