Seniors rates versus junior rates annual kick off returns
Last month the green light was given for the highly anticipated Warrant Officers and Senior Rates versus Junior Rates football match to take place at Devils Tower Camp football pitch. Traditionally played before the Christmas leave period, this match has been on hold as a result of COVID-control measures.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence explained, “with most of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment (RG)’s Junior Soldiers restricted to ceremonial duties, it was inevitable there would be selection problems for the Juniors’ team captain, LH Warry, in the lead up to the game.
“Meanwhile for the Seniors it was less about selection and more about having the numbers to rotate their old, tired bones through the gruelling 60-minute match! Spirits were raised slightly when the Senior Warrant Officer, WO1 McKenna turned up and decided to roll back the years by pulling on a blue jersey making his first appearance since 2009 - when most of the Juniors were still in nappies!”
“At 1100 the teams took to the pitch. After winning the coin toss, the Seniors’ team captain Sgt Misell opted to kick into the wind in order to gain a first half advantage and to potentially bag a few early goals. With the match under way, for the first 10 minutes it appeared that the Seniors had the match under control with precise passing and maintaining possession in the Juniors half. “However, the Juniors finally managed get their foot on the ball and worked the ball forward, eventually playing the ball through to their striker who was so far offside he was sunbathing on Western Beach! Appeals for offside were ignored and the ball was placed in the back of the Seniors’ net; 1-0 to the Juniors and with no video assistant referee review, the goal stood.
“The game kicked off again and within 5 minutes the Juniors were 2-0 up. A poor back pass to the goalkeeper who was under pressure, lead to a fumbled clearance and subsequently the ball was placed in the back of the net. The Seniors kept the ball well for the rest of the half, but the Juniors held a good defensive shape and never allowed the Seniors to get any shots on target. The whistle blew signalling the end of the first half.
“Half time team talks were conducted whereby the Juniors encouraged more of the same. The Seniors’ team manager Chief Petty Officer Leigh “Skid” Rowe made his demands known and wanted an early goal!
“The second half kicked off and there wasn’t much between the two sides. With a lack of firepower, the Seniors struggled to put the Juniors to the sword and the game ended 2-0 to the Juniors. Sergeant Fortuna put on an outstanding display throughout the game workingtirelessly for his team. ‘Equally AB Duff controlled the midfield for the Juniors and at times dictated the tempo of the game.
“The game was played in good spirit and enjoyed by all. The aim of the game had been achieved, forging a competitive spirit between the two sides. After the match the Juniors were hosted in the Warrant Officers and Senior Rates Mess with a BBQ and refreshments. Sgt Fortuna and AB Duff were presented with Man of the Match awards and congratulated for their performances.”
Speaking after the game Sgt Misell said: “Those that were expecting Real Madrid vs Barcelona would have been disappointed as it appeared more like ‘Dads vs Lads’, however the fitter younger team grabbed the advantage and took away all the spoils” Sgt Misell further thanked all the Mess staff and catering team for all their hard work.
The attention now turns to Christmas where this fixture will be played again with the Senior Ranks seeking revenge. - MOD