Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Photographers Reflection on Celtman 2012 – Part 1

Part one of three reflections on the recent Celtman Extreme Scottish Marathon


The competitors gathered from 04:00 on the bank at Inverbain ready for the 05:00 start – huddled in apprehension or for warmth. It was about to get a lot colder.

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Navy Sevens – Seahawk Complete Double

HMS Seahawk – Navy Cup and Navy Sevens Champions 20122-2012

A long days drive from the Isle of Skye was rewarded by a day of very good sevens when Ivel Barbarians RFC hosted the 2012 Royal Navy Rugby Union Sevens Tournament.  HMS Seahawk beat 30 Cdo RM in a good final to add the Sevens Cup to the Navy Cup they won earlier in the season.  Despite the odd shower the weather conditions made photography far easier than under the Burnaby Road lights.  Chairman of Navy Rugby, Capt Chris Alcock OBE RN, was on hand to present the prizes.  Also on the sidelines were the Navy Senior XV coaching staff and the Navy Sharks coach.  They will have been pleased with what they saw. Continue reading »

Celtman 2012

Congratulations to all who completed the Celtman 2012.  The images have now been posted in my Action Images section.

Early morning sun dabbles on Loch Sheildaig as the 2012 Celtman begins

First swimmer out of the water

Morning sun catches the faces as two swimmers close in on Shieldaig

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Speed Bonnie Boat……..

With the opening of the Skye Bridge in 1995 (Tolls abolished in 2004) most journey’s do not involve a ferry crossing.  From where we are in Sleat it is quicker to use the Mallaig Armadale ferry but after a thirteen hour journey up from the South Coast we were far to late for the last sailing.  However the glorious sunset that greeted our crossing this week made for a wonderful welcome back to Skye.

Mid Summer Skye Sunset looking North North West

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Basking Sharks No More

Whilst not yet in the category of Tiger Sharks or Great Whites the Navy Sharks have certainly left behind their Wild Boar Sevens lethargy and produced some much improved performances at the West Country Sevens.

A full gallery of images of both the Navy Sharks and the British Army Sevens team can be viewed by clicking here.

The story of the day was one of giving their first opponents too much respect, well beating their second opponents, losing to the well drilled Carmarthen Warriors but making them work hard for the win and losing a quarter final bowl match which they know they have the talent and capability to win.  If they can make equal strides forward for the Newquay Sevens in two weeks time then Sam Cuff should be a satisfied coach.

Jon Humphreys again was a try scoring threat, Coopz provided some solid go forward and Tom Davies made some telling contributions……………

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Once a Marine always a…………

His place in Navy Rugby history is assured.  It is unlikely that any Servicemen will ever play in more Inter Service matches in the UK.  However last week Bob Armstrong clearly felt the need to add another paragraph to his extensive rugby CV.  The plan was to represent the Invitation XV when they played the Royal Marines for the Hasler Charity Bowl.  The match was played at Plymouth Albions’ Brickfield ground in order to raise funds for C Group, which provides support to Royal Marines injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The reality was that he ended up playing for both sides in a match conducted by that refereeing maestro from Bath, Tony Spreadbury.  Reports as to the details of the match are varied but by common consent it can be reported that the Royal Marines eventually won 46 – 36 in an end to end exciting high tempo match.

Navy Rugby Golf Day

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Navy 28 Army 12 – must be a good news story

The Rugby Club Marine Nationale achieved what neither the Royal Navy or indeed the US Navy could achieve when then beat their Army opponents in the French Inter Services yesterday.  Having already beaten the Gendarmes on Monday the RCMN now face the French Air Force on Friday as they seek to regain the French Inter Services.
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Out, Back and Home

Clayton Patilla urges on HMNB Portsmouth winning crew at the 2012 RNRMC Field Gun

Whilst the Isle of Skye continued to enjoy some great weather I returned South to spend a couple of weeks photographing Field Gun.  This competition remains, to me, the epitome of team sport.

HMS Excellent Gun Crew run the gun down to the first action

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Wild Boar Not to All Sharks Liking

RN Sharks @ Wild Boar 7s, 2012

After a couple of season’s break the Navy Sharks were back in action at the Wild Boar Sevens and found out first hand how much the game of rugby sevens has evolved and developed in the last couple of years.

Navy Sharks v Castaways

First match of the tournament was against Castaways who were soon causing problems to the Sharks defence.

Jon Humphrey breaks the tackle

After conceding an early score Jon Humphrey, one of the few players to enhance their reputation, reminded the few Navy supporters of his elusive and effective broken field running.

Jon Humphrey's Try

to score the Sharks only try of the tournament.  Unfortunately he damaged a hamstring in the first game and had to miss the second.

Sharks worked hard in defence

but Castaways always had the upper hand

with seemingly more time on the ball

Though the Sharks worked to the end

lack of being able to keep hold of the ball eventually took its toll.

Second match v Camberley

For the second match the Sharks were down to seven fit players and though they saw more of the ball they couldn’t penetrate Camberley’s defence.

Two matches and two losses ended the Sharks tournament.  New coach Sam Cuff has plenty to ponder over and team manager Scott Ashley will need to (again) work the mobile hard to get a squad for Keynsham next week.  From a players point of view some of them need to realise that individual fitness needs to dramatically improve so that the coaches can develop the tactical side of the game.

Scott timing the yellow card, Sam ponders, Billy cajoles and Jon checks his hamstring recovery app online.

The other Sharks in the tournament were the Samurai Sharks who beet Marauders Academy White in the final after a day of sevens played in almost continuous rain.

Samurai Sharks - Winners Wild Boar Sevens 2012

Navy Sharks next up at West Country Sevens @ Keynsham.

More images of the Sharks from the Wild Boar Sevens can be found by clicking here.

Surgeon Commodore Dermot Crean Royal Navy

It is sad to report that Navy Rugby Life Member Dermot Crean passed away on 29th May 2012.  His las few years were a battle against Alzheimer’s but followers of Navy Rugby will remember the doc for his immense contribution to US Portsmouth and Navy Rugby as both physio and team doctor.  In 1996 he was rightly made a Life Member of the Union, becoming only the third Surgeon to be awarded such an honour.   Dermot was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2009 and as those who new him would expect battled it and did not let it get him down.  He will be sadly missed by his family and also his Naval Rugby family.

In 2010 Orla, Dermot’s daughter, ran the Great South Run in aid  of Alzheimer’s, their fund raising page gave a wonderful tribute to Dermot and captures the very essence of his unique personality.  It can be viewed here.  Although the page has expired for contributions the Alzheimer’s website is available here.