BIRKENHEAD Boys School is celebrating a prestigious national golfing success – after 45 years of trying.
A team of old boys from the Wirral school finished as the top team in the Grafton Morrish Trophy.
The competition is open to public schools across the country and attracted an entry of 109 with regional qualifying followed by a three-day final at Hunstanton and Royal West Norfolk golf clubs.
On the way to winning the final Birkenhead overcame Aldenham, Lancing, Cheltenham and Solihull.
In the last four they saw off holders Clifton before triumphing 2½-½ against Merchant Taylors’ (Northwood) in the final.
Birkenhead School, which first entered in 1966, has charted its progress in the competition each year with a special scrapbook that is handed down to the following summer’s competitors.
The competition is an open age event, but all team members must have attended the school they are representing. The format is scratch foursomes matchplay with each team made up of three pairs.
The Old Birkonian team, ranging in age from 26 to 49, included four local players and two who are now based in the south.
The victorious players were: Carl Adams (Heswall Golf Club, plays off two); Marcus Stam (Heswall, scratch, team captain); Phil Whitehurst (Caldy, one); Kristopher Archer (Royal Liverpool, scratch); Anthony Shields (Worplesdon, scratch); and John Hargreaves (Worplesdon, one).
The final proved a close-run affair and with three holes to play Birkenhead were two down in one match and level in both the others.
Long-serving team member John Hargreaves said: “Our young guns - Archer and Adams - used their considerable power to record a 2&1 victory and this changed the momentum in the other games.
“Both the remaining matches went down the final hole with all to play for.”
Birkenhead’s accuracy from the tee on the 18th helped them win one and halve the other to seal victory.
John added: “The team were mentally and physically tired but the sight of captain Marcus Stam placing the Birkenhead School shield on the clubhouse wall, looking down on those of all the other schools, was truly memorable.”
It is hoped to mark the success with an event and dinner at Royal Liverpool next year while the trophy will be proudly displayed at the school.
Birkenhead school will defend the trophy in 2012 -the competition’s 50th anniversary.