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Seahawk flying high at Navy cup final

9 December 2016
With Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose’s sixth Navy Cup final in eight years after they beat the Royal Marines of 40 Commando last year, HMS Seahawk were out to avenge the defeat by Britannia Royal Naval College in 2014, at the Rectory ground in Plymouth.

HMS Seahawk started the better and was rewarded for some fine forward play inside the first nine minutes. Seahawk Skipper, Air Engineer Technician Sam Carter ran-in to post their first points on the board.

His conversion narrowly missed but he made amends with a penalty kick minutes later to give the airmen from West Cornwall an eight point lead at the midpoint stage of the first half.

BRNC, made up mainly of Officer Cadets newly joined the Naval Service and have only been together for a few weeks, rallied well and applied pressure on Seahawk, but they were hit with a remarkable counter-try that showed full back LAET Paul Saberton’s football skills, as much as his rugby ability.

Carter’s extras gave Seahawk a 15-0 cushion, but the Dartmouth outfit were not going to lay down and take a beating from the Fleet Air Arm and they ending the half in a strong position.

It was the Dartmouth skipper, Officer Cadet Luke Tupholme who ran home a tremendous try, but missed the conversion to bring the score back to 15 – 5 at the break.

Seahawk came out for the second half strong and increased their control on the pitch soon after. BRNC gave away a penalty within easy range of Carter’s boot and he gratefully accepted.

After that they allowed Britannia Royal Naval College to get themselves back into the contest. For long periods the defending champions were under the cosh, protecting their line with all their might. But with just a few minutes remaining the incessant pressure finally yielded points for the 2014 Cup winners and they got a deserved try.

A reverse pass from Luke Tupholme to OC Guildford, allowed him to race in and score, closing the gap and with Tupholme’s conversion, it  made for a fitting end to a hard fought Cup final at 18- 12 to Seahawk.

But attempt after attempt failed as they might the Dartmouth Young Officers team could not match the strength and ability of the Seahawk fifteen and the FAA team held on for a 18- 12 victory and the Navy Cup in fine style.

“The boys dug out blind tonight,” said AET Sam Carter HMS Seahawk Captain. “We took on a lot of pressure in the second half and credit to everyone we managed to hold them off. Fair play to Dartmouth, they were close at the end but I think our team spirit held us together as a team. I’m well happy with that.”

“It was a spirited performance from us I think,” said Officer Cadet Luke Tupholme, Captain of the BRNC team.

“This team was put together around the new intake 15 weeks ago and come January there will be a new intake and a new team. It credit to our coaches that we got to the final and played well.”


AET Sam Carter


9 mins


AET Sam Carter


23 mins


LAET Paul Saberton


36 mins


AET Sam Carter


37 mins


OC Luke Tupholme


39 mins


AET Sam Carter


42 mins


OC Guildford


76 mins


OC Luke Tupholme


77 mins


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