RAF Marham ‘Net’ Their First Trophy
On 23rd April, DCAE Cosford was the venue for the RAF Netball Inter-Station Tournament which hosted the annual gathering of highly competitive and motivated teams from across the RAF and the MoD.
The tournament trophy dates back to 1948 with WRAF Cosford as its first winner and despite being in its 67th year, the RAF Marham Netball Team have never lifted the trophy, until now…
RAF Marham entered the tournament with just enough players to make a team so substitutes and injuries was not an option.
Teams were split into two randomly selected leagues. Pool 1 consisted of RAF Brize Norton (A Team), DCAE Cosford, RAF Northolt, RAF Leeming and RAF Cranwell.
RAF Marham was placed into Pool 2 along with RAF Wyton, RAF Odiham, RAF Waddington, RAF Brize Norton (B Team) and DHE Birmingham. Each game consisted of two eight minute halves, with no time for position swapping at half time – very different to the normal 15 minute quarters usually played in a netball match! Thus all teams competing had to get their heads into the game as soon as the whistle blew. The final was then played by the winning team of each Pool.
The morning period saw RAF Marham play three games; the first match being against Brize Norton’s B Team. Once the first match nerves were put to bed, the team ended with a 12-0 win! The next win for RAF Marham came with a result of 14-3 against DHE Birmingham and it was safe to say the girls were feeling confident by the time the third match was to be played against RAF Waddington. However, possibly due to complacency, it was a close match and unfortunately RAF Waddington stole our thunder with an 8-7 victory.
During lunch and after a team talk, the team had time to put the loss against Waddington behind them and go into the afternoon with a positive mindset. Our next match was against RAF Wyton which allowed us to play an ‘ace card’! We had encountered a friendly match against Wyton back in March so we adapted our player’s positions to our advantage, knowing how Wyton played. This successful tactic resulted in a 14-1 win for Marham.
The next match against RAF Odiham was the decider. Odiham had won all of their previous matches and were the current trophy holders. The only way to win our Pool and compete in the final was to defeat Odiham and to also have a bigger overall goal difference. Thanks to Cpl Hayes’s (MT) dominance in the circle, Marham won the match 9-7 AND were thankfully placed first in the Pool by a three goal difference!
Marham made it through to the final along with RAF Brize Norton (A Team) who were a very strong team. It was decided to keep our players in the same positions after the confident win against Odiham. Eager for the winning title we were first to take to the court. The final was played brilliantly with fast passes, experience in the shooting circle by Sgt Knowles (9 Sqn) and Cpl Hayes and dominating defensive work by SAC Dianne Salt (93 EA Sqn). By the time the game had finished neither team knew who the winner was due to both station’s immense concentration but it soon became clear that RAF Marham had won the game, 10-8 and also the RAF Netball Inter-Station Tournament 2015!
Once again, the RAF Netball Inter-Station Tournament was a fine demonstration of the professionalism, dedication and passion for the sport that exists across the Service and the MoD today. If you are interested in playing netball for the station then please contact SAC Verity Elward at TIW on GPTN Ext: 7113 or by email (Elward, Verity-Anne SAC).