44 NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2011 Next month
FIFTEEN matches over one and a half days culminated in Inter- Services hockey triumphs for the RN’s senior men
HMS Queen Elizabeth
Size does matter – aboard
and U23 sides. Some 350 players and officials
‘The stuff of dreams’
were in action on two pitches at Burnaby Road in Portsmouth, watched by around 200 spectators, writes Lt Cdr Alan Walker RNHA. For the seniors it was their first outdoor IS win since 2008, their fifth in the last eight years and only the 13th in the 102 years of the competition. All five competitions were closer than ever, the senior men’s event agonisingly so. Spice was added by former Army PTI QMSI Ian Jennings, star of 20-odd years of Army and Combined Services hockey (and England indoor and outdoor) coaching the RAF side. The RAF’s SAC Dowers opened the scoring from open play picking up a loose ball and rounding three not-yet-quite-in- the-groove Navy men. An attempt to play the ball with reverse stick left Micky Warriner stranded in goal for the Navy to go 1-0 down on five minutes. Not to worry. LPT Rowan playing better and
Here be Dragon – a day at sea with the new destroyer
better as he gets older, replied on 12 minutes from open play and then dark blue pressure, sustained for several minutes around the RAF goal, saw Lt Matt ‘Woody’ McInally RM get on the end of one in the melee for 2-1 to the Navy on 24 minutes. Straight
buried the rebound at the Navy’s fifth short corner to gain some breathing space with a 3-1 lead. The RAF have their share of good quality players these days and it was Dowers again who got onto a rebound from the excellent Warriner to bury the RAF’s second at the right hand post at the 40th minute, RN 3 RAF 2. That scoreline remained for 15 minutes or so with both teams going close and the match tempo accelerating.
Lee Milton got five minutes in the sin bin for a tackle adjudged ‘dodgy’.
RN, the resulting RAF short corner conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Another of the RAF’s scourges of the Navy,
mountain kings – the work of HMS Gannet
awesome? Inside the Fleet Air Arm’s new observer trainer
In the thrall of the
popped up to add to the RN’s woes while still down to ten men to grab the equaliser: 3-3 with 14 minutes to go. Just as he won the final match in the Indoor Inter-Services back in November S/Lt Richard Jenkin (BRNC) came
rescue once again with an open- play goal; 4-3 to the RN with seven minutes left. It was close, it was touch and go, pressure told on the RAF’s long- serving Rob Machin; he went off for five minutes after an ill-judged tackle and played no further part in the match. Big Mark ‘Dixie’ Dixon was magnificent in defence – a Trojan warrior of a man just when needed – Rowan Edwards was tackling like a demon, and Micky Warriner was flying in and out of his goal. The RAF’s Wallis failed to capitalise on their best chance in the dying minutes and 16 Navy players breathed a sigh of relief as the final whistle went with the RN still 4-3 up. Next morning the Army edged a 3-2 win over the RAF which meant the Army-Navy clash would decide the title. It began as the Army wished... and the Navy feared. Half-way through the first half Olympian Guy Fordham had rattled in two from open play and for a short time the Navy looked to be sinking.
Enter stage left Richard Jenkin again to crack in the prayed-for reply for 2-1.
Substitute Clark of the Gunners to the Navy’s Ritchie Corbett, Fortunately for the
l The RN’s player of the tournament, S/Lt Richard Jenkin, gives the Army the run around in the thrilling draw with the soldiers which ensured the RN lifted the Inter-Services’ title
had only been on the pitch for 13 minutes when he made it 3-1 right on half-time for the Army. After the restart Jenkin scored the only converted short corner of the match to keep RN hopes alive, but REME’s Dave Thomas quickly restored the soldiers’ two-goal advantage for 4-2 on 46 minutes. Navy hearts were in Navy mouths; we needed to draw level and fast! Wonder of wonders, two-minute
saw just that. First Capt Matt McInally RM (Albion) and then POAEA Mark Stanton (still of the Harrier Force) levelled the scores deservedly.
drove past and through three awful Navy tackles. With only Warriner to beat the Army man picked his spot and propelled the ball past the hapless keeper in the Navy goal. Hearts sank, but what’s this? The whistle’s gone – before it crossed the line! To the soldiers’ utter chagrin the umpire Mark Everard had blown at the final bad tackle – before the ball had entered the Navy net. He knew. The 22 players knew and about 500 people in the stand knew that the poor chap had got it wrong and he could have – should have – delayed his whistle and could then allowed the goal. Instead, a penalty stroke had to be taken... and when Micky Warriner saved it, the grandstand erupted and your correspondent swears the gods were sitting wearing navy blue in the back row of the VIP seats in the centre stand.
And then an Army forward burst a
They were still sat there when, fittingly – it could not have been anyone else in this most splendid of
and Welsh International Danny Makaruk had the final Navy say, scoring with eight minutes left for a 5-4 Navy lead. Delirium reigned! Was there a hint of Navy relief sitting back to hold their lead? Probably,
Chris Lane, yet another fighting Gunner, not to be outdone, scored from open play with one minute left on the clock to end an enthralling match 5-5 . But for the umpire’s decision,
the Army, who still had their legs – incredibly – would have won 6-5 and with it the Inter-Services competition. As it was, 5-5 was enough for the RN to take the title on goals for; they do not get much closer than this.
Meanwhile the RN U23 were also doing the Navy proud on the next pitch... The Navy took on the RAF on the first afternoon and their confident play soon resulted in a fifth-minute opener from Navy pilot S/Lt Richard Green. New cap Luke Dalton, making his Inter-Services debut, cracked in another on 15 minutes and the RN started stroking it around – maybe with a bit too much confidence.
quite brilliantly scored from open play for 2-1 to bring the Light Blues back into it but Green’s undoubted class saw him bury a penalty corner for 3-1 to the Navy just before half time.
The RAFs Luke Beddoes because the Army’s fairy-tales – former skipper Picture: Lt Col Charles Jackman
the day when an RAF forward wriggled and jiggled his way through the assembled RN ranks to win a penalty corner for Martin Sully to close the scoreline to 3-2 with 7 minutes left.
ominous for the Senior Service when, in the early match next day, the Army U23s walloped the airmen 8-2.
looked a wee bit RAF pressure briefly won ‘Gucci’ after
half time Capt Moore RM
Army inflict double defeat
THE Army ran in seven good tries against the RN in front of nearly 63,000 spectactors at Twickenham, snatching back rugby union’s Babcock Trophy won so dramatically by the Senior Service 12 months ago. But for the opening few minutes it looked like the Navy would hold on to the most coveted trophy in Forces sport watched by a record crowd at the home of rugby union... The soldiers started cautiously,
gave away a penalty and then allowed the Navy a pretty soft try. Ten points up and things were looking promising... But then Apo Satala ran, twisted and swatted blue shirts away to cross in the corner before Jack Prasad ran a full 50m for the best individual try seen at Twickenham for decades. A show on the outside, a jink
and shrug combined with pure genius and he was off to the posts escorted by a flotilla of blue jerseys– to no avail. Ceri Cummings converted to give the Army a 12-10 lead at the interval. The second half saw the Senior
Service treated to an exhibition of ‘total rugby’ from their foe: as the Army surged forward in numbers the matelots were left clutching at straws.
Seru as he went around to the posts. Cummings converted. Prasad tied England 7s
No-one laid a finger on Ben
international Greg Barden in knots while No.6 Ifereimi Boladau led the soldiers on successive rampages deep into Navy territory. Seru notched up his hat trick
and Satala bagged a second. The final flourish came when Gus Qasevakatini flew down the left for a most spectacular finish. It was a signed, sealed and
delivered victory and the Red sections of the record crowd roared their delight at the 44-10 triumph. And it wasn’t the sole Army
victory over the RN/RM... In the veterans’ clash, the
were full of incident with the RN driving into the Army half, putting them under pressure and leading to the first of four sin bins throughout the game, allowing Lt Paul Clark (Fleet Education) to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead The first Army foray into
Attack being the best form of defence the Navy took the game to the now-rejuvenated RAF to hang on for a win. Things
well and truly ‘did’ the Army, 5 – 2.
AB Liam Pickford (Liverpool) opened the scoring on five minutes and the game remained 50-50 until Tognarelli converted a penalty corner with ten minutes left in the first half. Five minutes into the second
But as it turned out, the RN The opening ten minutes
Mariners faced the Masters in front of a slightly smaller crowd (some 4,000 souls).
Mariner territory was handled well with good defence from a motivated and aggressive Mariner pack, and safe hands under the high ball from Lt Jo Ainsley (HMS Sultan). A speculative kick through from the Army stand-off bounced cruelly for the Mariner defence and allowed a simple touch down to give the Army a 7-3 lead. The Mariners came back strongly with a solid scrum performance and driving runs from Sgt Lee Norris (Chicksands) and RN man of the match PO Justin Doney (820 NAS).
period Mne Jim Ewing broke the deadlock to give the RN a 2-1 lead,
by S/Lt Nick Tate (Collingwood), and three minutes afterwards by Mne Kyle Pinnock from a short corner. Still 26 minutes to go with a 4-goal lead for the Navy, manager Lt Cdr Lee McEvoy must have been chuffed to little
with the effects of his half-time talk. Truly the stuff of dreams. The Army’s magnificent
captain, Vincent, got on the score sheet but the soldiers’ lights were flickering now and it was left to Ewing to cement the victory with his second, the Navy’s fifth. Trophy guaranteed.
followed 60 seconds later
A quick ball emerged from the back of a ruck and gave WO2 Albert Hall (HMS Chatham) the best scoring opportunity of the match but he was well tackled into touch by a robust Army defence. The Army, however were deemed to have been drawn offside allowing Clark to close the score to 7-6 to the soldiers. The game intensity was raised
several notches with both teams applying pressure but, again, a costly mistake by the Mariner defence allowed the simplest of run ins by the Army wing after a kick through and pick up giving the troops a 14-6 lead. The second half saw the
Masters begin to take advantage of momentum and belief, which the Mariners seemed to lack.
h Continued on page 43
Published by Navy News, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth and printed by Wyndeham (Roche) plc.
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