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Comeback Kings: Sandhurst In Army Top-Flight After REME Cracker

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst has won promotion to the top-flight of Army rugby union after a stirring second-half display saw them beat...

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst has won promotion to the top-flight of Army rugby union after a stirring second-half display saw them beat 8 Training Battalion REME.

Trailing 27-7 at the break in Aldershot, Sandhurst eventually won 28-24 to book a spot in the Army Premiership next season.

Lyneham-based 8 Trg Bn REME took control of the Army rugby tier two clash early on, even if they didn't quite have control of their own scrum.

Out of the chaos, though, they scored a well-taken try as Nawari eventually went in under the posts for a converted effort.

British Army rugby finals 2018

Minutes later, they doubled their lead. More slick passing, an acceleration of pace and a super one-handed pick up resulted in burly back Bai blasting his way over the line for a converted try and a 14-point lead.

However, straight from the restart, they let RMAS back into the match.

Although no malice was intended, Bailey was guilty of an over-exuberant tackle and following the letter of the law, the referee showed the back row a yellow card.

With a man advantage for the next 10 minutes, Sandhurst sensed an opportunity to score.

Having camped themselves on their opponents' line, a fine blind pass from fly-half Alec Wheatly gave Billy Moystin just enough of a gap to crash over for a converted try.

British Army rugby finals 2018

The REME outfit, however, looked like they had one hand on the trophy when they attacked deep into Sandhurst territory, before a couple of phases later they crossed for a third try before the break.

This time it was the frame of full-back Kenatali that flopped down for an unconverted score to put his team 19-7 ahead.

They further extended the gap on the scoreboard by adding another five points, when Bai did well before finding team-mate Verati to crash in at the corner. 

Rather than wilt under the pressure, the men in red roared back into contention in the second half, with an early Matthew Melish penalty reducing the arrears.

British Army rugby finals 2018

The scrum-half then added another penalty before displaying his strength to scramble over for an unconverted try. By now Sandhurst trailed by just six points.

With time ticking down they bulldozed their way in front. This time Hay was the main man, the colour sergeant squeezing over for a converted try.

A third Melish penalty completed a remarkable turnaround, with 21 unanswered second-half points having seen Sandhurst to victory - much to the delight of their skipper.

Officer Cadet Melish said: "It's a great achievement. We're really happy... It's a real collective [effort] so this kind of goes out to everybody. Everyone's ecstatic."

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