Captain salutes Rowlands Castle’s crucial togetherness

Rowlands Castle's triumphant Hampshire Sevens team. Left to right: Mark Ostram, Phil Russell, Phil Hodgson, James Hawley (captain), Simon Ostram, Jamie Turnball, Paul Whiteaway and Glynn Catterall. Picture: Andrew Griffin
Rowlands Castle's triumphant Hampshire Sevens team. Left to right: Mark Ostram, Phil Russell, Phil Hodgson, James Hawley (captain), Simon Ostram, Jamie Turnball, Paul Whiteaway and Glynn Catterall. Picture: Andrew Griffin
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James Hawley saluted the camaraderie of his Rowlands Castle squad after they celebrated Hampshire Sevens glory, writes Andrew Griffin.

The captain also pointed to the experience of playing previous finals as a key factor in the club’s historic sixth crown.

Rowlands Castle, who were already the most successful club in the competition’s history with five wins, beat Royal Jersey after a marathon day of golf at Barton-on-Sea.

Hawley said: ‘I think this team was successful due to the friendship we share – and all of us simply never give in.

‘The majority of the team made it to the Annodata Matchplay Golf Grand Final in Jerez, Spain, in November.

‘We socialise together and next week most of us are going on holiday together, which will no doubt be another chance to celebrate.

‘Winning the Sevens again – and for a record sixth time – was a great finish to a great year.’

Phil Hodgson sank the winning putt with Mark Ostram, Phil Russell, Simon Ostram, Jamie Turnball, Paul Whiteaway and Glynn Catterall completing the Rowlands Castle line-up.

That squad already boasted nine final appearances, with only Hawley being on a losing team back in the early 1990s when he played at Crookhorn.

He added: ‘I had used 10 players on the way to the final and should mention the contribution of Dan Cornish and Mike Potts, who didn’t travel on finals day.

‘And our reserve Paul Russell, who sat out despite having won in previous rounds, supported the boys tremendously.’