Students at the double in navy tournament

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STUDENTS from the University of Portsmouth are celebrating a memorable double triumph.

The talents landed both the Sodexo Defence Cup and Grass-Roots Shield as the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) hosted their maiden tournament at HMS Nelson earlier this month.

And now organisers are looking at making the successful competition an annual event.

Laid on in a bid to raise funds for the charity, teams representing the Royal Navy, United Services and University of Portsmouth took part.

But while a total of eight contested both the Sodexo Defence Cup and the Grass-Roots Shield, there was no doubt who the top guns were.

University of Portsmouth’s third team carried off the Grass-Roots Shield – a development league for newcomers to the sport.

They defeated their own fourth team 18-8 in the final.

The students did not have it all their own way, though, as Frances Elliott won the award for player of the tournament.

Elliott was presented with her gong by University of Portsmouth coach Vicky Froud.

The Sodexo Defence Cup also went to the dominant students but they had to pull out all the stops in the final.

The navy’s premier side pushed the University of Portsmouth’s first team all the way – but ultimately they had to settle for second spot as they were beaten 24-17.

And to cap a fine day for the victors, Katie Nichols was named player of the tournament.

She was presented with her award at the prize-giving ceremony by Royal Navy coach Linda Harris.

The tournament, which comprised of two Royal Navy teams, two United Services sides and four hopefuls from the University of Portsmouth, was laid on by a quartet of organisers.

Rick Bryan, Will Williams, Lee Fisher and Emory Garrett worked tirelessly to get the tournament on – and were chuffed with how it turned out.

So much so, in fact, they are keen to bring it back next year.

Bryan said: ‘We would like to extend our gratitude to the Royal Navy for their support – from the early stages of planning the event right through to project closure.

‘In addition, a big thank you to both the United Services and University of Portsmouth for their help in planning, along with their participation.

‘A special thanks to Linda Harris for her continued support throughout the life of the project – without her extended help this event would not have been possible.

‘Also, thanks to Clayton Patilla for his initial help in making it possible.

‘Based on the success, both the University of Portsmouth and Royal Navy have suggested they would like to make it an annual event.’

Full results: Sodexo Defence Cup: Royal Navy 23 University of Portsmouth 31; Royal Navy II 12 University of Portsmouth II 32;

Royal Navy 36 University of Portsmouth II 23; Royal Navy II 11 University of Portsmouth 50; University of Portsmouth 41 University of Portsmouth II 17; Royal Navy 27 Royal Navy II 14. Final: University of Portsmouth 24 Royal Navy 17.

Grass-Roots Shield: United Services 7 v 41 University of Portsmouth III; United Services II 28 v 19 University of Portsmouth IV; United Services 14 v 31 University of Portsmouth IV; United Services II 14 v 33 University of Portsmouth III; University of Portsmouth III 28 v 20 University of Portsmouth IV; United Services 22 v 17 United Services II. Final: University of Portsmouth III 18 v 8 University of Portsmouth IV.