Navy Senior XV win a 13 try thriller in Manchester

The Royal Navy Senior XV, fresh from a hard fought win in Ireland, was on the road again, this time to Sedgley Park, Manchester to take on the Wooden Spoon Anti-Assassins.

The game started in the worst possible way for the Navy as the Spooners went ahead (7-0) after 3 mins and 4 mins later another converted try gave the Spooners a 14-0 lead.  It was only now that the Navy seemed to shake-out from the long coach journey and blast into action.  The response was led by NA (SA) (Aaron) Hunt who crossed the line after a break from the half way which then saw him score the first of his 2 tries (14-5) 13 mins.  This was followed 2 mins later by Skipper for the game ET (ME) (Dale) Sleeman; he latched on to a good break by AB (Will) Cairns to score a well worked try (14-10) 15 mins.  It was then the forwards' turn and the next score for the Navy, came after a mix up in the Spooners defence allowed hooker Capt (Tom) Evans-Jones to score the Navy's 3rd try, converted by POET (WE) (Dale) Smallbone (14-17) 20 mins.

The Spooners not to be out done, came back strongly and took the lead again (19-17) 32 mins.  However, it would be the Navy who left the field at half time ahead (19-20) following a Smallbone penalty.

The 2nd half saw the score line tick along at a rapid rate. Hunt made his height count taking a contested high ball before he then off-loaded to Mne (Scott) Llewellyn to score a converted try (19-27) 45 mins.  Hunt was again in the thick of the action as he intercepted a Spooners' pass on the Navy 10m line to score (19-34) 48 mins.  The Spooners answered with a converted try 7 mins later (26-34).

As the Navy started to use its replacements, MA (Sam) Laird on for AET (Gareth) Jones scored the first of his 2 tries, converted by POAET (Dave) Pascoe (26-41) 58 mins.  Again the Spooners hit back immediately with a converted try (33-41). The Navy answered with Laird as he scored his 2nd converted try after a Navy attack down the left wing ended with him being driven over the line (33-48). 

It was the Spooners who would have the final word as a well-worked cross kick caught the Navy defence out (40-48) and with the final play of the game again the Navy defence allowed the Spooners to score the final points of the evening (45-48) final score.

This was a good work-out for the Navy before the 2nd International fixture in 12 days against the Marine National (French Navy) in Plymouth on Thu 31 Mar KO 1900 at Plymouth Albion RFC.      

Royal Navy:

POET(WE) D Smallbone (HMS Collingwood)(rep AB D Bamford (HMS Collingwood)), NA(SA) A Hunt (RNAS Yeovilton), AET J Humphrey (848 NAS, RNAS Yeovilton), Mne S Llewellyn (Cdo Logs RM), AB D Sleeman (Capt) (HMS Cumberland) (rep POAET D Pascoe), POET(WE) W John (HMS Liverpool), Mne J Stephens (CTCRM), LPT G Cadmore (HMS Raleigh), AET G Jones (RNAS Yeovilton) (rep MA S Laird (Keogh Brks)), Capt S McLaren RM (RAF Halton), AB W Cairns (CFPS), AB POAET J Court (829 NAS RNAS Culdrose) (rep NA K Mason (845 NAS, RNAS Yeovilton)), Capt T Evans-Jones RM (LWC Warminster) (rep NA B Priddey (RNAS Culdrose), SLt T Blackburn RN (HMS Sultan) (rep AB M Roberts (HMS Bulwark)), Other replacement  PO P Mortensen (RNAS Yeovilton)