Naval Air Out Pace Ancient Mariners

By WO1 Nick Wilkin Unlike last season with a shortage of players due to ‘World-wide Operational Commitments’, the NAC find themselves with the luxury of an abundance of players, for now at least. A pity then that not all were available for another meeting with the Vet’s. Some hasty last minute team re-organising from the NAC Manager saw a relatively experienced team take to the pitch with a few members playing out of position. This was the first run out as a squad the NAC RFC have had this season and only one week prior to our first Inter Command match against Portsmouth. NAC had hoped to play the previous week in a memorial match for the late Paul Dunn. Unfortunately that had to be postponed but is a match we look forwards to later in the season. Not wanting to lose to the NAC again the Vet’s appeared to have brought some ‘big guns’ with them, certainly some very experienced players ran out for the kick off. What ensued was a match played at a punishing pace with the experience and knowledge of the Vet’s pitched against the more youthful NAC. The NAC took the lead with a try just 5 minutes into the game from Guy Pallet on the wing and was duly converted. NAC gained possession from the Vets re-start kicking deep into the Vet’s 22 and kept up the attacking pressure through good rolling mauls to release the ball for the centre to score seven minutes later. Such was the flow for much of the first half with NAC winning ball in line outs with two more converted try’s, one from an attacking back row move putting Ollie James over the line. The other with Tab Hunter managing to intercept a Vet’s pass from deep in the NAC 22 to break away and eventually pass out to Ollie James. With so much NAC territorial possession it looked as if the NAC were to have it all their own way. Not so, with a new found spirit the more experienced Vet’s held the Men of Air to well within their 22 repeatedly forcing NAC to defend their line with aggressive scrummaging and mauling. The Vet’s gained two penalties inside the closing minutes of the half but at the whistle the NAC led the half 0 - 26. The second half was a battle of territorial advantages with neither side gaining entry to the others 22. The Vet’s tight 8 taking advantage in the mauls whenever they could continually pushing forwards. The NAC turning ball over to feed out to the backs until late in the half with Ollie James again scoring an unconverted try after a nifty little overlapping move with young Clay on the wing. Final score Vet’s 0 – NAC 31. NAC wish to the thank the Management Team at Ivel for their continued support in providing an excellent venue and facilities.