Seahawk’s Big Day Out
HMS Seahawk v HMS Heron
HMS Seahawk enjoyed a successful beach rugby tournament making it to the final on Weymouth beach front for the second year in a row. Seahawk were drawn in a group with the RN Medics, HMS Heron ‘B’ and HMS Daring.
Arriving behind schedule, the Seahawk players found their first opponents of the day waiting for them on the pitch in the form of the RN Medics. After a quick turnaround Seahawk took to the sand. What better way to get the long journey from Cornwall out of the legs? The Medics started the brighter of the two sides maintaining most of the possession but the men from the West Country stood firm with Grady proving to be a thorn in the side particularly at the ruck area, as he was all afternoon. There was some fine inter-play between Loydall, Warner and Campbell to score in the corner to equalise and finish the first game with a draw, 4 scores a piece.
Possibly the quickest turnaround ever! The players had just regained their breath to find they were playing HMS Heron ‘B’ side. The management team of Followell and Beasley rolled out the freshest side available for the airmen to play their air station counterparts. The ability to have rolling substitutes played into RNAS Culdrose’s hands as the management team kept the legs fresh. Wilkinson ran with purpose, nearly making the try line on several occasions; Skiff was on the end of one such incursion and managed to get his long leavers over the line to score. Seahawk ran out winners 5-2.
The final opposition in the group stage was HMS Daring; Seahawk were into their stride by this point and they ran out victorious 6-3 with scores from Kitson and Conroy the picks of the game. Wimmers was enjoying his first outing with HMS Seahawk rugby team and slotted straight into the team with no problems.
Seahawk progressed through the group stages at the top of the group and in the quarter-finals they met HMS Somerset. The ship from Plymouth played some great rugby to get to the quarters but couldn’t match the physicality of Warner, Wilkinson and Grady. Seahawk won this one 5-3.
Onto the semi-finals against Viking Squadron RM; this was a feisty encounter to say the least with the Royal Marines playing an abrasive game plan. Culdrose matched them and on occasion proved to be too powerful for the Bootnecks. Half time came and a solitary Loydall try was the difference, Folowell kept the legs fresh and with Beasley’s message of not getting into a confrontation with the physically fit Marines ringing in the ears of the players, the second half commenced - the message was ignored and the slugfest continued…
Seahawk held on to win the game 1-0 much to the displeasure of the very vocal crowd on the touch line.
In the final it was once again a battle of the air stations: HMS Seahawk v HMS Heron. The final of the tournament was played in good spirit between the two sides. From the start both sides looked physically spent with the Seahawk players potentially feeling the effects of the hard fought semi-final more than that of the Heron players. The game finished 1-1 after a last second score from Heron. Into extra time and it appeared to turn into walking rugby as the legs became heavy, unfortunately for Seahawk, Makepeace managed to find his way over the line to win the tournament for HMS Heron who were deserved winners on the day. HMS Seahawk though tardy had a lovely day out on the beach on a grey afternoon in Weymouth.
TSG; LAET Beasley, LAET Followell, NA(AH) Watson.
Players; AET Grady, AET Warner, AET Loydall, AET Campbell, AET Wilkinson, AET Kitson, AET Conroy, AET Wimmers, LAC Skiff
Words by K Beasley
Images by RNRU ©Keith Woodland