The Sunfoil Dolphins got their 2014/15 season off on a winning note on Wednesday 20 August when they shared the spoils of the final round of the popular Fin Cup at Beachwood Country Club to clinch the six week long competition 28½ – 25½ and retain the trophy for the second year running.
Started in 2013 after a brainwave by the Sunfoil Dolphins’ Lance Klusener and Kyle Abbott and the Cell C Sharks’ Charl McLeod, the Fin Cup sees players of Durban’s two largest sporting codes go head to head in the mutually enjoyed environment of golf and, together with the former T20 annual clash between the two sides, has played a key role in the formation of a close affinity between the two codes.
Despite the newly kindled friendships having formed off the course, the competition was red hot out on the fairways and greens of the magnificent Durban Country Club and Beachwood golf courses alike.
After enjoying a slender lead at the completion of round four, the Sharks surrendered their narrow advantage in round five after a sublime performance by the Dolphins and it was the cricketers who held the upper hand by two points as proceedings headed into Wednesday’s final 18 holes.
Despite being put under pressure by the Sharks’ contingent of Lionel Cronje, Jaco van Tonder, Odwa Ndungane,’Doc’ Alan Kourie, Hanco Venter and Fred Zeilinga during the foursomes competition played on the front nine – whereby the rugby stars clinched two of the three points up for grabs – the Dolphins contingent of Daryn Smit, Robbie Frylinck, Morne van Wyk, Cameron Delport, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Kyle Simmonds managed to pull things back in the singles clashes on the back nine to secure the victory and retain trophy once more.
“The Fin Cup is played in a Ryder Cup type format and is a great initiative that sees the players of two codes who represent the same province getting together, playing some golf, getting to know each other a little better and enjoying each other’s company,” said Sunfoil Dolphins Fin Cup captain Robbie Frylinck.
“We clinched the trophy by just one point last year so it was nice and close throughout the Fin Cup’s first year, and then it was really tight again going into the final round of this year’s competition which really meant things were nice and interesting for everyone.
“Things got a bit bigger this year with a couple of sponsors coming on board and we got a couple of charities involved as well. We’re looking to evolve things and make the Fin Cup a bit bigger each year and we’re very happy to walk away with the trophy again this time around,” he added.
Sharks Fin Cup captain Fred Zeilinga, who took over from McLeod upon the scrumhalf’s recent departure for France, was grateful for the opportunity the Fin Cup created for some of his charges.
“This year was a year where we our depth was tested a little with the likes of Keegan (Daniel) and Charl (McLeod) having left halfway through the competition but it was fantastic to be able to introduce some more of the Sharks players to the game of golf through the Fin Cup,” said Zeilinga.
“Guys like Jaco (van Tonder) have played a little bit of golf socially before but this was their first semi-serious golfing experience and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves out there.
“A big thanks to Robbie and his team for this year’s competition. We often see the Dolphins’ guys on TV but to be able to meet them and get to know a couple of the guys a little better has been really great.
“Thanks also to Alan Lukan of Durban Country Club for preparing such wonderful courses at both Durban Country Club and Beachwood for us and having all the boards, carts etc. ready for us each week. Hopefully we can play a couple more rounds at Beachwood next year because our guys definitely seem to do a little better here!” he chuckled.
Thanks to the involvement of the likes of South African Breweries (SAB) and Growthpoint Properties, the Fin Cup was able to offer financial assistance to three charities – The Jess Foord Foundation, CHOC and Bobbibear.
The Sunfoil Dolphins commence their 2014/15 cricket season on 20 September with the 2014 Champions League T20 in India while the Cell C Sharks are currently involved with the ABSA Currie Cup.
A gallery of images from the day are available here.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
2014 FIN CUP
Sunfoil Dolphins bt Cell C Sharks (28½ – 25½)
Morne van Wyk & Vaughn van Jaarsveld (Sunfoil Dolphins) bt Lionel Cronje & Jaco van Tonder (Cell C Sharks)
Odwa Ndungane & Alan Kourie (Cell C Sharks) bt Cameron Delport & Kyle Simmonds (Sunfoil Dolphins)
Fred Zeilinga & Hanco Venter (Cell C Sharks) bt Daryn Smit & Robbie Frylinck (Sunfoil Dolphins)
Morne van Wyk (Sunfoil Dolphins) bt Jaco van Tonder (Cell C Sharks)
Lionel Cronje (Cell C Sharks) bt Vaughn van Jaarsveld (Sunfoil Dolphins)
Cameron Delport (Sunfoil Dolphins) tied with Odwa Ndungane (Cell C Sharks)
Alan Kourie (Cell C Sharks) bt Kyle Simmonds (Sunfoil Dolphins)
Daryn Smit (Sunfoil Dolphins) bt Hanco Venter (Cell C Sharks)
Robbie Frylinck (Sunfoil Dolphins) bt Fred Zeilinga (Cell C Sharks)