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● PO Nick Chick (RNAS Culdrose) wriggles free of the Army in the
very physical men’s competition Picture: Lt Rob Floyd, NETS Portsmouth
wouldn’t give
a XXXX for
any other
programme –
Long Look
Down Under
Birth of the
Caught in the
carrier and
’crosse fi re
battlebags –
Heaven 17 at SW19
THE RN Lacrosse Association
hosted the other Forces and
the Police at the annual Inter-
Services competition at HMS
part of our
More than 80 players took
to the fi eld for two days of
Fly Navy
competition – men’s and
AFTER weeks of seemingly continuous rain, the sun ladies’ tournaments plus a
100 special
eventually came out at SW19 (aka Wimbledon) for
‘just for fun’ mixed match.
the Inter-Services A Tennis Championships at the
The RN team, comprising a
beginning of August.
few experienced players such
as Lt Cdr Nige Gates (846
Navy tennis too saw a very large came into force. Sudden death NAS) in goal, relied heavily
black cloud disappear over the replaced the advantage point and on a host of beginners and
horizon and brightness emerged the third set was removed in favour novices from all over the Fleet.
in the form of a squad full of of a ten-point championship tie- AB Aaron O’Connor (Daring)
intense grit, determination and break. and LETs Dan Hill and Chris
confi dence, writes Lt Richie Moss. Cooke and Herbert secured Clements (Liverpool) had only
After years in the wilderness, their fi rst win for the women received a couple of hours’
the men’s team fi nally brought taking their tally to fi ve rubbers. tuition prior to representing
home the trophy – a feat not The men too started in good the RN and performed
accomplished since 1992. form. The pairing of Losh and magnifi cently.
Additionally, the women’s Nicholls gained an easy victory Faced with experienced
veterans convincingly won their over their Army opponents putting players from the Army and
competition and the women’s them on fi ve rubbers. Police and a very-well-drilled
team came within a whisker By early afternoon play RAF side, the RN team
of snatching the trophy from returned to the grass courts, but demonstrated huge physical
the Army. Overall, this was an the amended rules still applied. commitment putting their
outstanding performance from Capt Simon Brand and Mid bodies on the line in the full
an in-form Navy squad which Simon Mayell went into their
contact sport.
completely dominated the Inter- second match on the grass
The team managed to rough
Services. determined to make amends for
up the RAF and break the
On day one, the women’s captain their earlier defeat and easily
stride of the Army, but the
Lt Cdr Katharine Rackham took disposed of the Army pairing
lack of tactical experience
the bull by the horns and won both putting them on six rubbers, one
showed and the both Services
her rubbers. Victories from Surg ahead of their nearest Army rivals.
managed beat the RN.
Lt Cdr Jo Cooke and Surg Lt Lara First on the grass for the
The Police were in a league
Herbert took the women to four women were Lt Cdr Rackham
of their own, running out as
rubbers going into day two, equal and Lt Kate Scott who levelled the
overall winners as they have
to the Army and three ahead of the championship with the Army by
some outstanding players
RAF – their best performance in winning their sixth rubber. Cooke
from the Manchester leagues.
years. and Herbert took the Navy into
However the RN never
added spice
The men’s team got off to a the lead by winning their seventh
gave up and high praise was
tremendous start too. Rookie ET rubber and with only two more
received from the Police when
to the
Scott Nicholls, a Phase 2 trainee at matches to play, tension was high.
they had learned that 70 per
Collingwood and former Scottish AET Sarah-Jane Pritchard and
cent of the team had only
● Cpl Adrian Talbot powers a shot during his doubles rubber against
Taurus trail
junior champion, impressed with Lt Eleanor Stack couldn’t quite
started playing two weeks
the RAF Picture: LA(Phot) Caroline Davies, FRPU East
his speed and accuracy around the overcome the Army pairing which
before the tournament.
court. meant the Army had tied the
In the ladies competition,
against the RAF came the Royal after losing the fi rst set, but in
The 19-year-old from Dundee, championships on seven rubbers,
the RN were shared out
Marine pairing of Cpls Adrian a highly-charged second set,
who only joined the Navy in April, but had won overall based the
between the Army and RAF
Talbot and Greg Andrews. Both the Navy pairing stamped their
said that he had been extremely greatest number of sets won over
players have years of experience authority on the championships.
nervous about playing his fi rst the two days – 16 sets compared
The RAF/RN team ran out
and competitive tennis behind A rallying call was needed and
All the fun
match for the RN at Wimbledon. to the RN’s tally of 15.
winners 11-1 with two RN
them: Talbot was a top-fi ve both raised their game beyond
Despite that, he won both his As the women’s championships
ladies Surg Lt Maria Coats
national in Australia as a junior anyone’s expectation, producing
rubbers, as did stalwart Navy came to a close, nervousness
(Scotia) and Surg Lt Cdr Mel
from Navy
and Andrews was in the Zimbabwe some of the most remarkable shots
captain, 38-year-old CPO(PT) and excitement rippled from
Doherty (Sultan) scoring seven
Davis Cup squad at the age of 20. of the championship. Eventually
Steve Losh, who gave a masterclass one end of Wimbledon to the
of the goals!
Days in
The match was all square at one they pounded the RAF’s No.1
performance. At the end of the fi rst courts outside No.1 Court for the
AB Charlie Lewis
set apiece and in a nail biting tie- seeds into submission winning the
day, the RN men were narrowly remaining fi xtures of the men’s
(Endurance), a complete
break the pair eventually lost out championship tie-break (10-3).
ahead of the Army (three) and Championship. (11-9) after having been one point Overcome with emotion, PO
beginner, also managed to
RAF (two) on four rubbers. There were four matches left away from victory on (9-6). Losh said: “I’m very proud of the
get some excellent game time
On the second day the heavens and the scores were tight: RN The RAF did the Navy a favour team’s performance and of their
demonstrating natural talent
opened and it looked unlikely that (six), Army (fi ve) and RAF (three). by beating the Army in their fi nal spirit which enabled us to win this
around the pitch.
there would be any tennis on the The Navy needed only two more game and so it came to Losh and tournament. To win this after 17
More information from Lt
hallowed turf. victories to secure trophy. Nicholls to grind out a victory. years and with such a great group
Dan Weil at daniel.weil568@
Play moved inside and new rules On court for their fi rst match Things were not looking good
marina Continued on page 47
Published by Navy News, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth and printed by St Ives (Andover) plc. L
047-048_NN_Sept.indd 2 20/8/09 09:26:31
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