Navy rivals meet on the football pitch

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), ABIS Ronnie Baltoft (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Stirling

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Soccer

The HMAS Stirling/Fleet Base West team (blue) competes against a team from HMS Sutherland in a friendly soccer match at the HMAS Stirling Sports Oval. (photo: ABIS Ronnie Baltoft)
The HMAS Stirling/Fleet Base West team (blue) competes against a team from HMS Sutherland in a friendly soccer match at the HMAS Stirling Sports Oval.

The HMAS Stirling men’s football team has faced off with British counterparts from the Royal Navy’s HMS Sutherland during a match at Stirling in Western Australia.

Royal Navy players endured Australia’s hot and humid weather conditions to register a one-all draw at the final whistle.

Stirling team manager Petty Officer Combat Systems Supervisor Martin ‘Bobby’ Ball said the game presented his team with its toughest test in a number of years.

“The match commenced at a fast and frenzied pace with both teams trying to gain the early advantage.

“Able Seaman Electronics Technician Submarines Will Schiwy looked confident in the Stirling goal and dealt with an early aerial bombardment from Sutherland without too many problems,” Petty Officer Ball said.

The first half proved to be an even contest with neither team gaining the upper hand.

The home team came out firing in the second half and were rewarded for their efforts with a skilful goal from Able Seaman Acoustic Warfare Analyst Submarines Alex Howard.

“Fortunately, Alex found himself with some space and struck a sensational goal from 20 yards to put Stirling in front,” Petty Officer Ball said.

Sutherland responded strongly and Stirling’s defence could only hold out until the 80th minute. A floated ball from a corner kick found the head of an attacking Sutherland player and finished in the back of the net.

An offside decision several minutes later denied Stirling the win but Petty Officer Ball said a one-all draw was a fitting result for both teams.

Stirling midfielder Leading Seaman Marine Technician David Turnbull was voted Man of the Match on completion of the game.