RAF Squash 2016

03 March 2016

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The RAF Squash Championships were held at RAF Halton recently.

Squash playerRAF Halton is the Home for Sport for squash and boasts four glass-backed courts in excellent tournament-standard condition.

After a number of years amongst the top RAF squash players, Flt Lt Mike Hallett finally came of age as he beat ex-Champ, Paul Warner (both from High Wycombe) in the Men’s Final.

Referee Phil Rea said: “Paul Warner came out all guns blazing, with his trade-mark cross court drop volleys finding the nick, but Mike dug in, and with his strength and fitness, resilience and consistency, plus more and more winners of his own, he took the number one position in RAF Men’s squash”.

Tournament organiser, Lee Cobley, reported on the championships, saying: “A similar story was repeated in the Ladies Final, with Flt Lt Annabel Bacon playing some of the best squash of her career to beat the ex-Combined Services Champion Claire Graham in a thrilling final. Annabel secured a post as an RAF Reservist and completed her fitness test just hours before the championships so that she was eligible to play.

“Chief Tech Bez Beresford was unstoppable in the Veterans category, having won two Combined Services Individual Championships and now his second RAF Championship, beating ex RAF Open Champion, James Treweek in the final. James’ energetic retrieving could only last so long as Bez pushed him from corner to corner with highly accurate strokeplay and control of the T.

“SAC George Waller, in the Under-25s, likes to hit the ball hard, and was simply too strong for the remainder in this division. He also gave a few of the top senior men a good game, reaching the 5-6 play-off in the Men’s Open.

“In the Masters category, players must be over 50 so, as the movement starts to go, players rely more on accurate strokeplay: lofted lobs, fizzing drop volleys and cross-court nicks. Flt Lt Mike Whitwham is the RAF coach and renowned for his delicate touch which undid the efforts of a very fit PTI Sgt Mick Jones. Congratulations finally go to the Plate winner, Sgt Mick Sowden, who had to endure two rounds of the Open, a round-robin Plate league, and three more knock-out rounds of the Plate to reach and win the final with some fine squash. Well done Mick for playing so much squash and taking the title.”

Doing well in the RAF Champs allowed players to be selected for the Inter-Services Champs. FS Len Brettell of RAF Halton, was selected again to play for the RAF Veterans’ team and had some very competitive matches against the Army and Navy.”

Editor: Jane Reilly

© MOD Crown Copyright 2016

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