Royal Artillery Challenge Cup Squash Competition
On 13th September 2014, RAF Waddington Squash Club were invited to take part in the Royal Artillery Challenge Cup competition, taking place in Grantham.
Held yearly as a pre-season competition before the start of the inter-club winter leagues, this was seen as a good opportunity to test the legs and lungs before the start of the new season. Additionally, all funds raised went towards supporting the Lincoln branch of the Royal Artillery Association. Drawing entrants from all of the Lincolnshire squash clubs, it was expected to be a highly competitive and fiercely contested event.
In the run-up to the occasion, RAF Waddington assembled a strong line-up consisting of:
1. Squadron Leader Dave Jacobs (Air Warfare Centre)
2. Squadron Leader Paul Warner (Personnel Management Squadron)
3. Flight Lieutenant Rob Parr (8 Squadron – team captain)
4. Chieftain Ross Little
5. Dusty Miller.
Only a couple of days before the competition, Dusty unfortunately dropped out, which led to a last-minute frantic ring around to find a replacement. Sadly, due to it being such short notice, no one was available. Nevertheless, early on the morning of 13th September, the fearsome foursome congregated at Grantham Squash Club to test their mettle against some of the best squash players in the county. Luck was clearly on our side, for as soon as we walked through the door we recruited a 5th player, a teenage girl called Katie.
The tournament initially started with four leagues, with the winner of each going through to the semifinals, and second place going into the ‘Plate Competition’. In our league we were drawn against David Lloyd (Burton Waters), and Eastgate 1st team, who were seeded third and seen as the clear favourites to progress from our group.
Both Eastgate and RAF Waddington easily saw off the challenge of David Lloyd, both posting a comprehensive 5–0 victory; this led to a shoot-out for the top spot, between us and Eastgate.
First up was Katie who was, unfortunately, outgunned by her opponent. Next up was Dave, who recorded a convincing win against his challenger, reflecting that, “It was good – I just felt in the zone and able to let my racket do the talking.” Ross, though, was unable to continue the winning theme, losing 2–1, leaving it all on the captain to keep Waddington in the main competition. Sadly it wasn’t to be and he went down 2–0, leaving Paul to play for pride, who successfully recorded a 2–1 victory. The team unfortunately lost 3–2 overall, and entered the Plate Competition.
Waddington went straight into the semi-final of the Plate Competition, facing the Eastgate 2nd team. Everyone bar the captain (he wasn’t allowed to forget it!) won their games, which gave Waddington a 4–1 victory and a chance of winning the Plate trophy. Up against a Grantham team who received some vociferous home support, the squad remained undaunted and stuck to its guns to romp to a 4–1 victory. Thus RAF Waddington had won the Plate Competition. Paul, who had remained unbeaten throughout the competition, said of the moment, “It was an unbelievable experience, to come all this way with such a hotchpotch of players; it is beyond my wildest dreams.” RAF Waddington Squash Club has a number of different leagues for different standards and can also provide coaching.