The Army’s professional male players’ pre-seasons ended this weekend, and while there were mixed results there were plenty of tries across the country.
On Friday night, Cpl Lewis Bean (Rifles) was one of Glasgow Warriors’ scorers in their 27-22 win away to Worcester. What would have been even more pleasurable for the big second rower and his team mates was the way they battled back from a 14-3 deficit on the half-hour, and then 19-10 early in the second half.
Cpl Bean then drove over after 48 minutes to get Glasgow onto the front foot, and when they scored again seven minutes later it gave the Warriors a lead which they would not relinquish.
Two more tries came on Saturday afternoon in the Midlands.
At Butts Park Arena Gnr Senitiki Nayalo (7 Para RHA) continued where he left off the previous weekend with a second-half short-range effort for Coventry against Gloucester. Unfortunately – in another parallel with seven days earlier – the try was not enough to help Cov beat Premiership opposition, Gloucester running out 50-40 winners.
Meanwhile at Lady Bay, LCpl John Davetanivalu (R Signals) was the first player on the scoresheet in London Scottish’s trip to Nottingham. However Scottish found it tough going against the Outlaws, and while the visitors were still in touch at half-time, just seven points adrift, two tries in the opening four minutes after the resumption of play put Nottingham in control, which they retained until the final whistle, which brought a 36-25 final result.
Back to Friday night, and LCpl Lloyd Wheeldon (3 Para) was involved in the game of the weekend. Heriot’s travelled to Watsonians needing a win to kick-start the second half of their Scottish Super 6 campaign, with LCpl Wheeldon starting at scrum-half.
Watsonians grabbed the contest by the scruff of the neck in the first half to lead 17-3 at the break. But the visitors fought back with a pair of tries in the third quarter to reduce the deficit to two, and after the teams exchanged penalties Heriot’s secured not just the lead for the first time in the evening but also the points with an 82nd minute penalty.
The win moves Heriot’s up a place in the table before their home game this Sunday against Ayrshire Bulls.
In the Premier 15s Bdr Bethan Dainton (RA) and her Harlequins team mates continued where they left off in Round 1, comprehensively overpowering Worcester to win 66-24 at Sixways on Sunday afternoon.
However it took a stunning second half from Quins to secure the points, as at the break they only led by four points, 21-17. Four tries in the third quarter took the Londoners well clear of the hosts, and they then maintained that control until the final whistle.
Unfortunately the other two games of the weekend to feature Army representation did not go our ladies’ way.
At the Alpas Arena Capt Erica Mills (RA) was a second half replacement for Gloucester-Hartpury in their west country derby against Bristol. Even more disappointing than the 17-24 result would have been the way Gloucester-Hartpury did not turn a 10-0 half-time lead into the points, especially as the double-digit lead was maintained until the hour mark.
Instead it was Bristol who finished off a strong comeback with the clinching try four minutes from time.
In the final game of the weekend, on Sunday afternoon, Loughborough Lightning had a tough 80 minutes against Wasps. Lt Sally Stott (RAVC) was a replacement for the Lightning, but neither her nor her team mates were able to capitalise on a trio of yellow cards shown to Wasps, with the visitors powering their way to a 29-0 win.
Words © New Dogs, Old Tricks, Header and Featured Image © Alligin Photography, Neil Kennedy