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Army Medical Service captain, LCpl Conor Booth, was delighted with his newcomers after they helped win League Three at the Corps Festival with a 27-17 final success against RAPTC.

An entertaining afternoon at Newbury RFC began with the same two sides playing the curtain-raiser, the AMS running out 24-7 before they also overcame the Int Corps 17-5.

A 19-0 triumph for RAPTC against Int Corps set-up the final, but it was the Medics who started with a bang in building up a two-try lead.

Their opponents hit back before the break, but having fallen 27-12 behind, their final try was merely a consolation.

And LCpl Booth was delighted with his charges, stating: “It’s been a great afternoon, very good stuff.

“We’ve had a lot of new boys who’ve come in this season – three or four it was their first outing playing rugby – so all things considered, I’m so happy with the performance.

“I was quite impressed with a lot of what we did – especially the new boys and the progression we made from the first game into the final was top notch.”

With the Festival proving the first opportunity for the Corps sides to test their hands ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, LCpl Booth admitted it had been a disjointed build-up but one where the addition of new players had been the biggest plus point.

He continued: “We had the Harris Cup, which is all the Med Regiments back in May, but plenty of the faces have changed since then so it’s pretty much a brand-new group.

“I’ve been playing all my life so it’s a natural thing for me but getting word around the different units and pushing it is so important, including the social side which encourages a lot of the boys!

“We’ve all got the same thing in common that we come through the same Corps, it’s a good way to bring people together – sport is great but rugby in particular.”

League Three of the Corps Championships begins on Wednesday, September 27, with AMS playing AGC and RAPTC taking on Int Corps.

And LCpl Booth concluded optimistically by saying: “We’d love to win the league – the toughest thing for us is the consistency of trying to keep people together every time, but considering we got 16 to the festival, it’s a good start to the season and right up there (with what we’ve done).”

Words © Richard Ashton

All images – Alligin Photography © Cat Goryn


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