This year’s Trade Group 17 Football Tournament was held at RAF Coningsby on Thursday 7th June 2012.

On a cloudy Thursday morning, on the back of a drizzly Junior Ranks Summer Ball, Trade Group 17 personnel made their way to a cloudy Coningsby to compete for the annual trophy.

Personnel Support staff based in SHQ had gone through some last minute logistic hurdles to provide a fitting setting for the event which included team entries from: RAF Brize Norton, High Wycombe, RAF Leeming, RAF Honington, RAF Northolt, RAF Innsworth, RAF Waddington, RAF Scampton and RAF Cranwell along with the host station. This year’s competition was organised by Project Officer Sgt Darren Hart (Leeming) and Dep Project Officer SAC Graham Fisher (Coningsby). BSW personnel from PSF including: Sqn Ldr Darren Godwin, Cpl Dave Walton, SAC Olly Martin, SAC Gaz Jones, SAC Shaun Geaghan and SAC Ryan Rees Pritchett worked tirelessly for several weeks to deliver all aspects of the tournament.

The rain decided to stay clear for the majority of the day, as the fixtures kicked off. The teams were split in to 2 groups, Group A and Group B with Coningsby lining up against High Wycombe, Leeming and near neighbours Waddington. Lively encounters ensued in both groups throughout the day with league positions changing hands, the competition tense. By the end of the group stage, the home team had gained enough points to make it through to the semi finals where they would play Brize Norton whilst neighbours Waddington lined up against Cranwell.

The semi-final proved straightforward for the home team as Coningsby dominated Brize Norton with a 3-0 win. Shaun Geaghan ‘He scores when he wants’ opened the one sided match with an early goal and good link up play provided a goal each for Gaz Jones and Graham Fisher. In the other semi, Waddington were victorious against Cranwell.

The Cup final saw local rivals Waddington and Coningsby renew old rivalries. After a competitive opening but scoreless 45 minutes, the second half saw Waddington’s Matt Hollis strike a superb long range effort past Dave Walton which flew into the top corner of the net. With time running out, a mistake by the Waddington keeper saw a late penalty conceded and Gaz Jones slotted home coolly with seconds on the clock. With the scores at 1-1 as the full time whistle blew, a penalty shoot out ensued. With Waddington up first, Dave Walton made a fine save from Waddington’s spot kick. Coningsby now relied on their star man Shaun Geaghan (who was spotted practising penalty kicks prior to kick off), but his effort was sent wide and over the bar. Waddington’s second penalty was converted coolly, followed by another well placed shot by Coningsby Captain Graham Fisher to level the scores at 1-1. Waddington’s final penalty was well placed, and the pressure was now on Coningsby’s Gaz Jones to take the game into sudden death. The game went right down to the wire as Jones kept his nerve and made it all square at 2-2. Sudden death and the pressure now back on Waddington, their penalty kick was scuffed high over the bar and Sqn Ldr Darren Godwin had it all to do. Never one to buckle under pressure, Daz converted his spot kick, and Coningsby were crowned 2012 Champions, to the delight of the host team’s supporters.