As the summer holidays draw to a close, I made the long trek north of the border to photograph my second ice hockey tournament of the year. I absolutely love the buzz of photographing ice hockey, it is a real passion of mine and tournaments have such a fantastic atmosphere.

The RAF Championships is one of the great highlights of the RAFIHA calendar, which sees the Bluewings, Lossie Jets and the Vulcans competing for the highly coveted RAF Champions trophy.

I packed all my hoodies, expecting a Scottish chill, but instead was greeted with a beautiful warm summer’s night, so I decided to check out Dundee’s water front, which looked glorious in the golden hour sunshine.

The stage was set and Day One of the Championships started with a mini Trade Tournament, a fun warm up to the main event.

The players were split into six different Trade teams, Officers, Logistics and Support, Force Protection, Ground Support, Techies 1 and 2. The Trades Trophy was won by the Ground Support team.

Day two, the Lossie Jets Red began the defence of their title with two victories, but it was clear that both the Bluewings and Vulcans were not going to roll over, both claiming a win on the opening day.

Inside the locker room….

Day 3 and it was all to play for. A defeat for the Bluewings meant they failed to qualify for the final and would face Lossie Jets Black in the 3rd place playoff. The Vulcans beat Lossie Jets Black 7 – 0 sending them into the final against reigning champions Lossie Red. What a final it was lined up to be.

We said a sad farewell to Lossie Jets and RAF Aces ‘Dougie’ Beveridge, he was presented with a wonderful gift by Aces team mate, Jason Devaney – there were a few tears!

And so to the main event, the Vulcans opened the scoring much to the shock of the Lossie Jets and their fans. It was a hard fought battle until the final whilstle, Vulcans beating Lossie 2 -1; the trophy was heading south of the border.

A fantastic awards dinner rounded off a great week of hockey!

RAF Champions – RAF Vulcans

Runners Up – RAF Lossie Jets Red

3rd – RAF Bluewings

4th – RAF Lossie Jets Black

Best netminder – Brendan Boyle (Lossie Jets R)

Best forward – Barney Britten (Vulcans)

Best defender – Zak France (Vulcans)

All images from the tournament can be viewed here https://galleries.everybodysmile.co.uk/trishthompsonphotography/clien/

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