Mariners Prepare for Show Down
Following an overwhelming victory against the RAF Vultures, the RN Mariners set their sights firmly on the final game of the 2011 Inter Service Championship against their long time rivals the Army Masters XV who had beaten the RAF 42-0.
Due to injuries sustained against the RAF at Newbury the following players became ineligible for selection; Lt (Baz) Stockton, CPO (Danny) Haseltine, LS (D) (Ben) Cartwright and Lt Cdr (Rob) O'Kane who had been suffering from a hamstring problem that has limited his game time this season. These injuries and the availability for several key players saw the planned fixture against Taunton cancelled. However, the Mariners used this time to run a productive training session at HMS Heron.
It was not all bad news for the Mariners as returning from injury is WO2 (Nobby) Clark and PO (Chaz) Channing. Also returning from Operational deployment was WO (Dave) Sibson who joins fellow former Senior XV 2nd Row Lt (Jack) Parnell to give even more bit to the Mariners squad.
At the end of the training day Hd Coach Lt (Mick) Connolly applauded the squad's efforts against the RAF, but he also emphasised to the team the threat the Army Masters posed and enthused the players to prepare themselves physically and mentally for the challenge ahead.
As the Mariners started their build-up in Portsmouth on Wed, the early session's demonstrated to Hd Coach Connolly that his words of a week ago had not been wasted or forgotten. The squad trained with a hunger, desire and focus for their final fixture of the season and the 2011 Inter-Service Veterans Championship deciding game at Kneller Hall on Sat 7 May KO 1030.