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HMS Portland and HMS Defender exchange tactics on and off the field

27 June 2016
HMS Portland and HMS Defender have met up in Sardinia to handover responsibility for operations in the Middle East.

The two Royal Navy ships visited Cagliari, Sardinia for a short handover as HMS Defender returned from a nine month deployment and HMS Portland starts hers.  With the formalities out of the way their sports teams headed ashore to battle it out on the sports field.

The first sport was football and in a closely contested game in 32 degree heat HMS Defender got off the mark, despite pressure from HMS Portland, when Engineering Technician (ET) Lloyd struck home from outside the box.

HMS Defender doubled their lead just after half time when Leading Steward Cudjoe rounded the keeper before scoring in an empty net. 

Leading Physical Trainer (LPT) Bricknell halved the lead with five minutes to go connecting with ET Woods for a cross into the box. 

Both teams battled fairly and took the game in the light hearted manner that was intended, giving LPT Scrivener few decisions to make as referee. The result finished 2-1 to HMS Defender.

It was good to see both Ships’ Companies bonding over sport and catching up with some old friends.

LPT Bricknell

A rugby contest followed.  HMS Defender, without their Royal Marine Boarding Team and Advanced Leave Party, were short of players, however in the spirit of the game, HMS Portland lent players to enable the fixture to go ahead.

The game was played in good spirits, with HMS Portland’s Principal Warfare Officer (U) Lieutenant Commander Hucker refereeing.

The game finished 35-5 in HMS Portland’s favour and was well supported by both Ships Companies and some local spectators. There was a BBQ and social on completion.

 LPT Bricknell, who organised the event, said: “It was good to see both Ships’ Companies bonding over sport and catching up with some old friends. Even though we were together to handover operations, it was great to see everyone let off some steam on the pitch.

"The day went better than expected and was taken in the light hearted manner intended.”

The teams then proceeded ashore to watch England crash out of the Euros, but it did not dampen spirits as HMS Defender’s team look forward to their return home, and HMS Portland’s team look forward to the rest of their deployment.

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