HMS SEAHAWK RETAIN NAVY CUP
The Royal Navy Cup Final kicked off on a crisp winters evening in Portsmouth between the present holders HMS Seahawk from Culdrose, Cornwall against local boys HMNB Portsmouth. The Seahawk team was litter with RN Senior XV players who would all make a significant contribution during the evening. However, Portsmouth where not without their own Navy players with AB (Tom) Davies at centre to name but one.
The evening did not start well for the home team, as from the KO they gave away a penalty which Navy Skipper POAET (Dave) Pascoe took quickly and scored the first points of the evening which were added to by AET (Brian) Houghton 0-7.
Ports hit straight back through a good passage of play led by LET Cooper, but were stopped and Seahawk managed to clear their lines.
Portsmouth gave away a string of penalties which ended up with a Seahawk a lineout close to the Ports line. The ‘catch and drive' by Seahawk gave regular Navy Hooker, but playing in the back row for Seahawk LA (Ben) Priddey the converted try 0-14.
However, Portsmouth came straight back from the restart, Davies converted the penalty 3-14. Ports where finding it difficult to contain Pascoe and from a maul he attacked the blind side, made some space which then allowed NA (Aaron) Hunt to score an unconverted try 3-19.
The penalty count was increasing against Portsmouth and eventually the referee lost his patience and reduced Ports to 14 men for 10 mins. Seahawk capitalised on the extra man and Priddey found the try line for his 2nd try, 3-24. It was not long before a Ports dropped ball was scooped up by PO (Steve) Homer for a converted try to make the HT score 3-31.
The 2nd half started as the first has finished with Seahawk in attack which led to a try for AET (Paul) Saberton, 3-36. Seahawk started to make changes, replacing LPT (Jon) Platt at centre with AET (Jumper) Collins.
The Portsmouth set piece was under pressure that led to a strike against the head for Seahawk gave AET (Rob) MacIntyre a try which was then converted by Houghton. 3-43. even as Seahawk were reduced to 14 men for 10 mins they continued to pressure Ports line.
AB (Dickie) Bird and AB Morton come on for Ports to try and stop the points flow. However, Seahawk respond by replacing Priddey with SAC (Guy) Pallett and AET (Jon) Lowe for Navy Prop PO (John) Court.
Ports start to gain some ground as the Seahawk changes cause some gaps to appear, the best Ports attack of the evening is stopped just short of the line with a try saving tackle by MacIntyre. Seahawk replace kicker Houghton with Lt (Si) Lockley at stand-off as well as 2nd row Lt (Aidan) Riley with Lt (Smudge) Smith.
A last flurry from Ports was rewarded with a try for AB Jones that make the final score 8-43 to HMS Seahawk who retain the Navy Cup and gain there 3rd Navy Cup Final win.