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A crowd of over 80,000 at Twickenham
NA Ben Priddey, the  Royal Navy Team with the Babcock Trophy
The Victorious Royal Navy Team and Trophy


Published: 06 May 2016

The Royal Navy pulled off a sensational victory in the 2016 Inter-Services Championship after holding the Army to a 29 – 29 draw at Twickenham. 


The Senior Service knew a draw would be enough at the start of the day, having already emerged victorious over the RAF, who had beaten the Army in the other inter-services fixture. Among the victors were five players from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, including Navy Captain Naval Airman (AH) Ben Priddey.


The other Culdrose men; CPOAET John Court, LAET John Lamsin, NA (AH) Kyle Mason and NA (AH) Ben Watson also played their parts, which saw the Navy come back from the wrong side of a 26-7 score line. However, the team did not drop anchor and with 30mins of the game left to play, they began a spectacular comeback. The crowd of over 80,000 were on the edge of their seats, as the sailors and marines pull nearer to the Army score. 

Forced back by an angered Royal Navy pack, the Army buckled onto their try line and eventually the referee went under the posts for a penalty try.  The fight was on. The red side of the record crowd fell silent, White Ensigns, previously hidden were unfurled and the blue followers were beginning the find their hearty voices. Everyone knew that drawing level would secure a famous Navy victory, but at 26 -26 that was not the end of the story and with two minutes to left play, the Army charged forward and scored from a vital penalty, 29-26.

 Had the comeback faltered, the Army were on the cusp of regaining the Inter-Services. But they conceded a penalty 40 metres out and in front of the posts.  AET Jon Humphrey had earlier missed one from a similar range but he made no mistake with the one that mattered.  And at 29 – 29 the seconds ticked-away before the final whistle signalled an end to the game, a draw and a Royal Navy Victory in the Inter services.

 “We didn’t go out there to draw so there was a little bit of disappointment but taking the Services title is enough for us and hopefully next year we can do the clean sweep,” said Navy captain Ben Priddey.


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