Winning Ways

 

RAF Halton is the home of Table Tennis in the RAF and recently hosted the RAF Championship that was dominated by RAF Benson, who collectively achieved the most awards by any RAF Station in the history of the sport.

RAF Benson were crowned RAF A CUP Champions beating RAF Marham in the final with a team that consisted of WO Stead, Flt Lt Gozzard and SAC Faulkner. In the Individual Championships, the RAF Station Pairs Winners were WO Stead/SAC Faulkner beating RAF Marham again in the final. The impressive run of form also included RAF Runners up Men’s Singles, WO Stead losing to RAF Number 1. RAF Vets Singles Runners Up, WO Stead losing to RAF Number 1. RAF Doubles Winners, Sgt Donoghue (RAF Number 1 Digby)/SAC Faulkner Benson. RAF MIXED Doubles winners and runners Up, Winners, SAC Faulkner/Flt Lt Gozzard beat WO Stead/Cpl Bullough (Brampton). RAF Plate semi finalist, Cpl Guest.

RAF Ladies singles Runners Up, Flt Lt Gozzard who lost to Cpl Bullough (Brampton)

The RAF were triumphant at the Inter Services at HMS Collingwood with a truly remarkable achievement with the RAF A Team coming home with the title for the 29th consecutive year. The Royal Navy A Team gave a superb account of themselves by coming 2nd, with the RAF B Team a very close 3rd over the Army A Team.

The women’s team event was played in a slightly different format where the Royal Navy eventually took the title away from our ladies team. There were some extremely close matches, and highly competitive games.

Special mention has to be made of Sgt Mark Donaghue who has dominated the sport for 15 years. He took the Mens Individual title, Mens Doubles title (with WO Tony Stead) and the Mixed Doubles title (with Cpl Kris Sumner). His skill and unquestionable dedication to the sport will be sorely missed, but not by the Army and Royal Navy. Two other members of the team also played their final Inter-Services; Sgt Paul Walker and Cpl Shelly Bullough.

The three debutants in the B Team, won some very important games to an eventual RAF B Team 3rd place. The teams were as follows:

RAF A – SAC Faulkner (Capt), Sgt Donaghue, WO Stead, Cpl Hancock, Cpl Cullen

RAF B – CT Clarke (Capt), Sgt Walker, FS Bekker, Cpl Berkon, OC Preston

RAF Ladies – Cpl Sumner (Capt), Flt Lt Gozzard, Cpl Bullough, SAC Hill

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