Inter-Services 'B' Championships 2017
Mens 'B' Championships
Royal Navy - 1st
Army - 2nd
Royal Air Force - 3rd
* Royal Navy - 2017 Mens 'B'
Inter-Services Tennis Champions
A Tri-Service Event
The 2017 Inter-Services 'B' Tennis Champs was held at the Halton
Tennis Centre where play over the period Sat 01 & Sun 02 April 2017.
Ladies 'B' Championships
Royal Air Force - 1st
Army - 2nd
Royal Navy - 3rd
* Royal Air Force - 2017 Ladies 'B'
Inter-Services Tennis Champions
2017 Inter-Services 'B' Championships Report
The Army Men played some fantastic tennis getting the runners up spot (see additional report below).
This year we had some new faces to both squads; Spr Simon Killips and 2Lt Steph Hislop.
The Army Ladies faught hard getting a well deserved runners up place.
The match of the day was in the Ladies doubles lasting 3 hours and 25 mins.
Army Mens Report - 2017 Championships
The Inter-Services 'B' Tennis Championships 2017, hosted by the Royal Air Force at the glorious Halton Tennis Centre during the weekend of 01-02 April 17, saw an outstanding performance from the Army team in the face of stiff opposition. Indeed, this was quite possibly the highest level ‘B’ Championships for a number of years, featuring many players across all services
who would be competitive in any of their 'A' line-ups.
The Championships were preceded by a competitive and intense trials and training week which sought to select the squad and provide all of those in the running for a space with high quality training. With Pte Reece Munnery at the helm as team coach, the intensity was high – each day started with a circuit session to help people ‘get the pump on’, followed by hitting and tactics drills. Remarkably TA’s back – injured at the start of the week – had improved dramatically by the end of it, despite the punishing regime wrought by the 2 PARA infanteer. The standard during the week was very high indeed, with tight playoff matches in both singles and doubles helping to decide
the squad to go to Halton. By the end, the 14 players at the start had been whittled down to 6:
- SSgt ‘Taff’ Williams (AAC)
- LCpl Dave Perry (REME)
- LCpl Sam Evans (REME)
- Spr Matt Gregory (RE)
- Rfn Steve Barnett (RIFLES)
- Spr Simon Killips (RE)
It was a case of the old guard and the new: Dave, Taff and Steve having accumulated many campaigns between them at A, B and Vets level, while Sam, Simon and Matt were all to make their debuts over the weekend. A final training session the night before the championships at Halton selected the lineup, with Dave and Simon playing singles and Steve & Sam, Dave & Taff due to play doubles.
Spr Gregory was to be in reserve, ready to step on at any moment.
Day 1 - Singles:
In the first round of matches Dave Perry contested a tightly fought and highly watchable match against the RAF’s Cfn Connor Polybank, whose huge forehand and aggressive style ultimately saw him overcome Dave’s tough resistance with a scoreline that belies the closeness of the match: 6-7 3-6. Indeed, it could have gone very differently had Dave capitalised on a string of game and break points at the start of the second set. Dave’s increasingly aggressive style on all sides was evident throughout, and makes him one to watch for the upcoming grass season. Meanwhile Spr Simon Killips was making his debut against the Navy 2nd string AET Ciaran Losh – son of legendary Navy tennis player Steve Losh - whose aggressive style gradually broke down the more consistent Army player. For a while it looked as if Simon might be able to break down his opponent with consistency and deep, spinning balls, but the Navy player upped his game when it mattered and saw out a quality game of tennis that showed great potential for Spr Killips in the future. The final score: 2-6 3-6.
Round 2 saw Dave take on arguably the best player in the Navy team, A or B, at present – LET Scott Nicholls – whose absence at the As last year made him eligible for this year’s Bs. Some scintillating play from both sides was enjoyed by all watching, with Dave showing great flair with his one-handed backhands and Scott playing exceptionally well to break down Dave’s game, but again the Navy player prevailed with a score of 3-6 3-6. Simon, now warm and ‘in the zone’ fared better in his second singles, securing a comfortable win with good hitting from all sides against the RAF, 6-2 6-3. To round off the day the team enjoyed a meal and a drink (strictly one) with the committee in a local pub.
Day 2 - Doubles started positively:
Dave and Taff won a comfortable first set against the RAF no. 1 pair, who were misfiring in all directions. It looked as if a straightforward victory was to come, but the RAF pair, free from the wear and tear of years in the field, dramatically improved their game for set two while tension set in for the Army, and a tight second set went in the RAF’s favour. By this point the RAF were in full flow with the Army still somewhat tentative and far from their potential best – not without some fantastic moments, of course, including a stunning ‘behind-the-back-needle-threader’ of a passing shot from Cpl Perry, and moments of the terrifying solidity and concentration of Taff that makes him feared throughout Army tennis. The match, however, slipped from their reach in a match both Army players felt should have been theirs. The final score: 6-2 4-6 3-6. Sam (on his debut) and Steve, meanwhile, produced some tight and energetic doubles to beat their first opponents, the Navy, 6-1 6-0. Their use of the South-African-taught ‘T-bomb semi-I cross’ strategy was evident and effective throughout, proving too much for their opponents. This carried over into their second match against the RAF second pair who were no match for the Army duo, by now were firing on all cylinders, and who claimed a 6-2 7-5 victory. With one rubber left to play (Army 1st pair vs Navy 1st pair), the trophy was out of the Army’s reach, and Matt Gregory stepped up to join Dave Perry and replace the injured Taff. ‘Baptism of fire’ is an apt phrase to describe the experience, as Dave and Matt faced the big hitting of the Navy pair, who may well feature in the top pair of this year’s A tournament. The young Spr Gregory stepped up to the occasion exceptionally well, aptly supported by the more experienced Dave Perry, and the two displayed determination right to the end, along with quality tennis that the 0 & 0 scoreline does not do justice to.
Final Results - Summary:
2nd place was a just finishing position for the Army, faced with an outrageously good Navy team. The attitude of the Army throughout the training and match period was superb, getting it exactly right in terms of competitiveness and sportsmanship on court (calling lines honestly even when opponents didn’t) – it was a pleasure to captain such a side. Individuals will work hard to improve their games ready for the summer season, and will undoubtedly come back stronger, with some seeking to compete for a place in the ‘A’ team later this year. A big thank you must go to Pte Reece Munnery who was phenomenal as trainer and court-side coach, and whose constant efforts and enthusiasm were greatly appreciated by the team. Likewise a huge thank you as always to the ALTA committee - the Chairman Brig Darrell Amison and to Bill and Anne Herlihy for facilitating and supporting the team throughout - and to those other
committee members, players and relatives who came to support. Until next year…
Written by 2Lt Alex Hadcock - Army Mens 'B' Tennis Captain
Final Team Scores 🏆
- Ladies Final Team Scores:
RAF = 8
Army = 3
RN = 1
- Men Final Team Scores:
RN = 6
Army = 3 (7 Sets)
RAF = 3 (6 Sets)
Many thanks to all the players that took part and to the RAFLTA who helped run this Event.
We look forward to seeing you at the Inter-Services 'B' next year, which will be hosted by the Royal Navy @ Portsmouth TA.