Inter-Station Tennis Champs
The RAF Halton Tennis Centre hosted the largest turnout in over 10 years as 14 stations and 72 competitors battled it out in the Inter-Station Tennis Championships last week.
Day one of the hotly contested competition saw 24 matches split over 4 groups, consisting of singles and doubles playing 9 games. The aim of the day was simply to win as many matches as possible as every game counted. It was a full day in the glorious sunshine for the competitors, with matches beginning at 9.30am and continuing until 8pm.
Men’s A Cup
RAF Coningsby, led by the Men’s A team captain, Flt Lt Jon Bond, topped the leaderboard with 100 games won. RAF Benson also fielded a very strong side with 2 A team players, Flt Lt Chris Evans and Fg Off Phil Corral, achieved 99 points and RAF High Wycombe, who saw the return of Flt Lt James Treweek and A team player Flt Lt Andy Keeley, achieved 98 points. The surprise contenders came from RAF Marham where Cpl Leon Morris helped his side rack up 93 games. These four tennis giants had earned the privilege of progressing to the A Cup Semi-Finals.
The Men’s A Cup semi-finals began with a fantastic battle between RAF High Wycombe and RAF Benson, with RAF High Wycombe edging out on top 3-2 and progressing to the final. In the second semi-final, RAF Marham took a small lead against RAF Coningsby before they turned it around, with RAF Coningsby eventually winning the match 4-1 and setting up an extremely interesting final.
The Men’s A Cup came down to the final match with RAF High Wycombe just able to tip the balance 3-2 against RAF Coningsby with some excellent exhibition tennis.
Men’s B Cup
The Men’s B Cup saw RAF Linton-on-Ouse (captained by A team member Flt Lt Ali Johnson) face RAF Benson in the first semi-final. The contest of the hard fought day was between Flt Lt Andy De Gier and Sgt Mark Malpas, with Linton-on-Ouse progressing to the final after a massive 13-11 tie break in a match lasting over 2 hours. The second semi-final saw RAF Northolt (led by B team member Cpl Luke James) take on RAF Boulmer. RAF Northolt came out on top with a 4-1 win and moved into the final.
The Men’s B Cup was a hotly contested final which, after 3 ½ hours finally saw RAF Northolt beat RAF Linton-on- Ouse 3-2.
The Ladies’ draw saw RAF Brize Norton (driven on by FS Hilary Dimeck) come out on top of the group with RAF Northolt A and B (led by Flt Lt Louise Waterhouse and Sqn Ldr Nikki Lofthouse) in hot pursuit, followed by RAF High Wycombe and a mix of RAF Boulmer and RAF Coningsby. The top 4 would again pit their skills on day two in a 1st v 2nd and 3rd v 4th semi-final play-off.
The Ladies finals saw RAF Brize Norton beat Northolt A 2-1 giving them 1st and 2nd respectively and Northolt B beating RAF High Wycombe 2-1 placing them 3rd and 4th respectively.
Members of the RAF from all branches and trades came together to compete with and against each other promoting a fantastic level of determination, team work and esprit de corps under the banner of RAF Tennis.