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Men’s triumph is ISIN on cake

HAVING won the RN Inter-Command indoor hockey tournament, the Portsmouth and Royal Marines teams emerged victorious from the Tri-Service Inter-Command event as well, consigning the two RAF Commands to the third place play-off, writes Lt Cdr Alan Walker.

The top two Service teams

would normally compete in the West of England Indoor National League


but this year special dispensation was successfully sought for one RN team and one RAF team to take part in the further rounds at Bristol University. Permission was granted by the ‘can-do’ West organisation, but even so the RN had great difficulty raising a team – and the luckless RAF had to withdraw – leaving the RN to hold up the Services end yet again.

The RN were one of eleven teams playing off in three pools for one place in the National play- offs. The West winner would join up with those from North, East, South, Midlands and the previous season’s bottom NIHL club in a further play-off, with the eventual winner enjoying promotion to the lower of the national indoor leagues.

The Navy team comprised three submariners (AB Ben Wain, the U21s keeper, Lt Mark Dixon and CPOMEA Stu McInally), two engineers (POAET Mark Stanton and LET(ME) Danny Makaruk), and two green berets (Commando doctor Dave Potter and Mne Nicoll) with Navy Secretary Steve Lemon, stepping down to assistant coach in favour of newly-installed team coach POPT Sam Howard. Because the team was short of five players from the usual maximum 12, both coaches were changed as ‘hostilities-only’ potential players. The seven lads gave absolutely

l Mne Ed Hill (back to camera) scores a hit on Rob Sage of the GB Veterans Bowers ensures title is ours

THE title of fencing’s Inter-Services ‘Champion at Arms’ belongs to Lt Cdr Keith Bowers who proved himself ‘best of the best’ at the end of one of the busiest weeks in the RN fencing calendar. Over the course of the four-day competition in Grantham, Keith won the men’s individual sabre and picked up silver in the foil, giving him the highest points tally in the competition. His success capped a brilliant performance by the

RN’s male sabreurs, who picked up four of the five top places.

Cdr Dicky Barton and Lt Rubin Nash tied for

third, while AB Fred Noakes came in fifth. Mne James Huntley secured a bronze in the épée, while Noakes and Mne Ed Hill added third-place finishes in the men’s foil to the RN tally. Unfortunately the RN were pipped to the post in the men’s team event, with four victories to the RAF’s five. The Army finished in third place, failing to win a single match. In the ladies’ competition, the RN were unable to

Squatters take over

field a team and the RAF only contended a single weapon, leaving the Army with a clean sweep. The Inter-Services came hot on the heels of the RN knockout, held at HMS President. Fourteen units competed against each other, with a team of RN CCF cadets from Elizabeth College taking first place; 43 Cdo and HMS Kent came second and third respectively, while President and Navy Command tied for fourth place. In the evening 50 RN fencers and guests attended

the annual fencing dinner in President’s wardroom, and the following day saw a match against a national veterans’ team, in which the Navy men won 7-5 but unfortunately the ladies lost 6-0. A series of grass-roots fencing events will take place

at various training and shore establishments in 2013 to introduce sailors and marines to the sport. The next of these will take place in Brunel Gym, HMS Sultan, on Wednesday February 20 between 2.30pm and 4pm. See fencing/news for details.

everything – how well they played had to be seen to be believed and, as usual, they were in the running for the top spot by winning their pool.

The ‘been there before’ Bath

Uni Buccaneers and Cheltenham each won their pool. Three teams left for a three-way play-off, one to go through. A Pompey team once won through to the NIHL in the 2003/04 season. Played eight, lost eight, in two consecutive weekends in Hull was the sad record back then, although it was always thought that Cheltenham and Harborne (Birmingham) could have been there for the taking. Our lads were playing so well – you just wished you could ‘magic in’ the missing five, not least to provide badly-needed fresh legs. Anyway, it was not to be and the RN team emerged with great credit after two defeats brought about purely by sheer exhaustion. The relative strength of the RN and RM contingent meant the ‘best of both’ was too much for the


other two Services at the senior men’s

Indoor Competitions (ISIN). So once again the RN went

level in the Inter-Services

away with the top two trophies out of the five competitions, the ISICT and ISIN cups. Six Inter-Service indoor wins out of eight – and eight ISICT wins in eight years – is a pretty good record left by former RN seniors’ coach Steve Lemon as he hands over to POPT Sam Howard. The results at the ISIN were:

Ladies: 1 Army, 2 RAF, 3 Royal Navy. U23 Men: 1 RAF, 2 Army, 3 Royal Navy. Masters: 1 RAF, 2 Royal Navy, 3 Army (the RN beat the Army 5-2). Seniors: 1 Royal Navy, 2 Army, 3 RAF (the RN beat the Army 8-4 and RAF 7-5.


In the outdoor form of the Inter-Command

tournament reverted to the more usual end of Indoor season spot to prepare for the outdoor Inter- Services competition in March. Coming hot on the heels of


a busy indoor season, the close proximity of both may have had an adverse effect upon availability of players to take part in both. The women’s event ended with three teams of players from four commands – well,

actually five

commands: Plymouth produced five players, Portsmouth and Air had four between them, Scotland, led by the ebullient Laura Laing did brilliant to get eight players. Something extra special was

served up by the RM Band Service – ever since Musns Amy Drinkwater, Kat Beard and Alice Hudson have been playing for the RN, there has been talk that one day, the Bandies would eventually produce a team.

Produce a team they did: ten

players, led by Amy, took the field resplendent in pink, keeping alive a tournament that had looked to be threatened at the very least. With Portsmouth and Plymouth combining and each team making adjustments

to even out the

numbers, the brave Scotland team lost both their matches – only for want of a goal-getter – but without them the event would have been the poorer.

The Bandies won one and lost

one (Alice Hudson top-scored with four goals), and the Portsmouth/ Plymouth/Air ‘mixyblob’ won both their matches, which was probably on the cards from the start. The men’s event was down to four teams – Scotland were unable to field a side.

Plymouth had come to do well and immediately upset the apple cart by beating the Marines 2-1 in the first match. Portsmouth,

with Micky

Warriner back from injury looked business-like as first Tim Lomas then Jon Hamilton tucked away a brace each. Naval Air scored early on through Callum Watkins and near the end from Andy Carter, but that was all they could manage in a 5-2 scoreline. Alex Colbourne got Pompey’s fifth. Plymouth v Pompey on paper looked good for a draw, but a 3-0 Portsmouth lead through Stu McInally, Rowan Edwards and Colbourne proved unassailable. Fred Parry got a consolation short corner conversion late on. Smarting over their defeat by Plymouth, the Marines took on Naval Air and gave them a 3-0 sorting out. With two or three really top Fleet Air Arm players missing, a goodish side was beginning to look a bit ordinary….. Two games were left for the

morning of the second day and three teams still had everything to play for; Portsmouth were on six points, with Plymouth and the RM on three each. Day 2 and Naval Air faced Plymouth. The Westos raced into a 4-0 lead inside 16 minutes with two from Alistair McInnes, one from M Nocoil and another from Gavin Roberts.

Once the bacon sarnies were all gone, the WAFUs got down to business with goals from Andy Carter, Mark Yates and Chris Shakespeare.

Unfortunately for

them, then Roberts and Nocoil each got another for 6-3. McInnes scored his hat-trick and then Plymouth got another short corner conversion late-on for 8-3 to consign Naval Air to a third defeat and a most-unaccustomed wooden spoon. Plymouth now had six points to

match those of Portsmouth and 11 goals for and 7 against. If RM could beat Portsmouth 1-0 or 2-0, Plymouth could win on goals for. Needless to say, the final match, intelligently seeded by Secretary Lemon, would be assured of a maximum turnout. A splendid match ensued; the flair and talent of the Portsmouth side matched the rapidly-improving RM team time and again. Chances went begging or were brilliantly saved. 1-0 or 2-0 to RM would let Plymouth in, the Royals needed a 3-0 win to win outright… No-one thought about a 0-0

scenario… which is how it ended – seven points to Portsmouth, six to Plymouth, four to RM and 0 to Naval Air. Sixty players got three matches in each and a good time was had by all.

Do not adjust your set...

Sail Loft h Continued from page 44 227.5kg. MA Mea Taylor Greaves achieved an excellent 235kg in the under 90kg class, made all the more impressive by her having only started training with weights a few weeks prior to the competition. As well as full power, there

THE shirt held up by WO Keith Humpleby might be a tad (well, very) garish. But thanks to it, one of the country’s

top Rugby League teams, and several hundred Leeds Rhinos fans, the coffers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity have been swelled by £2,952.50... …as you can see from the large cheque Keith, fellow matelot CPO Steve Swales (Leeds Armed Forces Careers Office) and Leeds Rhinos and England star Jamie Jones-Buchanan

are holding on the

RNPA website com/site/rnpowerlifting/home or search on Facebook.

42 : FEBRUARY 2013

were single lift entries, with the bench press being won by Zach Woolley with an outstanding 150kg in the 82.5kg class. The deadlift title was taken by POPT Jamie ‘Sticky’ Stickley who pulled 250kg in the 110kg class. For more information visit the

Yorkshire side’s hallowed Headingly turf. Second row foward Jamie, a key member of Leeds’ Grand Final winning side, presented the cheque – proceeds from sales of the limited-edition shirt worn by the Rhinos in their clash with Hull FC back in July (the Rhinos traditionally play in easier-on-the-eye blue and yellow). The game was staged to show the two clubs’ support for Armed Forces Day – an occasion close to Jamie’s heart. “My stepfather was in the Navy and

served on HMS Courageous when I was growing up. I lived for a while at Faslane, so know first-hand the great job that our Armed Forces do to keep us safe both at home and abroad,” said the England star. “This was a great effort by the Leeds fans and I am sure it will be very much appreciated by the charity. “We are proud at the Rhinos to be able to support such a great cause and I am pleased to be able to hand over the cheque.” Yorkshireman and RNRL stalwart Keith says the Rhinos have a habit of pulling out all the stops for the military. “This was the third year that the Rhinos have had an Armed Forces Day and fans should not underestimate how much it means to the guys to receive such a warm welcome from members of the public whilst they are at home,” said Keith. “The Leeds and Hull fans were magnificent and the boys are already looking forward to next year’s game.”

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