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Historic win for BRNC FC

13 May 2016
An on-form BRNC FC had recently returned from a tour of Gibraltar where they had further consolidated their skills in an intensive training package.

Here they competed against the Gibraltar under 19s and under 21s and a well organised Combined Forces side, so winning the final should have been business as usual for BRNC FC.

However the team did not make it easy for themselves. Despite Qatari international Amir Al Abduljabbar giving them an early lead, BRNC FC were fighting an ugly uphill battle at 2-1 down with 20 minutes to go. Nothing was going right for them. 

They had conceded a penalty and the only shot taken by Plymouth University IV had found the back of the net. Something magical was needed. Team captain Officer Cadet Aaron Biggs slipped the ball through to Midshipman Joseph Souch and the net rippled. From here onwards, BRNC FC had urgency about them and it was only a matter of time before they got the next goal. 

In the 82nd minute, Leading Physical Trainer Paul Sykes rounded the keeper and Amir netted for a brace. Just eight more minutes of holding the fort and the cup was BRNC FC’s. The final whistle blew and the feeling of elation was felt around the pitch.

Overall this has been a fabulous achievement thanks to the commitment of our dedicated squad of players and staff.

Lieutenant Darren Roach, Team founder and player manager

Founder and player manager Lieutenant Darren Roach, who hails from Plymouth, said: “Nobody saw this coming and you can understand why. For decades, the prestigious BRNC has produced young officers with the ‘spirit to fight and win’. 

"Many of these young leaders have represented the College in sports such as rugby, cricket and rowing. All have managed to bring back silverware to the College in the past, but football hadn’t, until now.”

From the outset Lt Roach set the bar high and made his intentions clear. He wanted the universal sporting language to be held with high esteem throughout the College and the only way to do that was to foster a team that would show commitment, hard work and determination. The rest would come.

BRNC FC struggled with form in the first half of the season. Turnover of players was always going to be a challenge with training commitments, but BRNC FC had to account for this and adapt if they were to stand a chance of challenging. 

The second half of the season saw an impressive run of form with 12 wins in a row, making BRNC FC unbeaten since February. This would see them secure second place in the league behind a respectable 42 Commando team.

Lt Roach said: “Overall this has been a fabulous achievement thanks to the commitment of our dedicated squad of players and staff. We look forward to another successful season next year when a new batch of Officer Cadets will hopefully bring fresh talent to the team and help us continue this momentum.”

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