RAF Waddington Hornets 17 – 19 Marham Bulls
The RAF Waddington Hornets, sponsored by geospatial intelligence experts Envitia, sustained a narrow defeat at the hands of the Marham Bulls at home in the penultimate game of the Inter Station League.
The close and entertaining game was a masterclass in team spirit, as operational commitments at RAF Waddington meant the Hornets could only field a team of 13 players. However, the RAF Marham side turned out in force with 21 players, and lent some of their team to Waddington to ensure the fixture could go ahead.
Marham came into the game as league leaders, having played one more game than Waddington, but with the Hornets having a greater points difference from the two games already played. In blustery conditions, both the Hornets and the Bulls scored three tries each, with the final scoreline settled in the Bulls’ favour by conversions.
Earlier on in the game though, it looked as though the Hornets (sporting their new black and yellow kit, complete with Envitia logo) were set to dominate. An early try by captain Anton Bainbridge put the home side 5-0 ahead within the first five minutes. The visitors managed to equalise following a period of ill-discipline, but missed the conversion in order to keep the scoreline at 5-all, until the Bulls again scored a try and conversion to make it 5-12. One of the borrowed Marham players then scored another try in the corner, with Rob Booth adding 2 points from the conversion, bringing the score to 12-12 at half time.
The second half continued in a similar vein, with the Hornets dominating possession and territory, scoring another try although a strong gust of wind sent the conversion wide, bringing the score to 17-12. With just five minutes remaining, it looked as though the Hornets were about to break away for a certain try, until a dropped pass allowed Marham to exploit the lack of defence depth and score next to the posts. The conversion was duly taken, bringing the score to 17-19.
While it was the narrowest of defeats, team boss Flt Lt Simon Williams said he was happy with the final scoreline:
“It was a thoroughly entertaining game that we only lost in the final 5 minutes due to an unfortunate converted try, caused by some loose handling by our forwards. However, it was probably the right result, as Marham had lent us the players and resisted the call for us to forfeit the game before kick-off.”
The Hornets have already secured a place in the draw for the RAF Cup, and will finish either second or third in the league.
RAF Waddington is a state-of-the-art military unit, recognised as the air force’s main hub for the latest in ISTAR technology. It is home to a fleet of aircraft that includes the E-3D Sentry and Airseeker capability.
Envitia is a major supplier of the geospatial technology which enables shared situational awareness for on-board ISTAR platforms, making the link-up between Envitia and the RAF Waddington Hornets a natural choice for a continuing successful partnership.