Given the departure of many experienced team members, it was always going to be difficult to emulate the success of last year’s winning Pringle Trophy team. James Martin, our only veteran of the competition, captained the side this year and deserves praise for the tens of hours, as well as application, given to preparing the team for this year’s competition. His solid leadership at the competition itself also helped us to achieve a respectable 7th place finish overall, which offers plenty of hope for success in the coming years.
It is important to note that every team member gave their all and learned a lot over the weekend. Our most impressive display, a second place in the Close Quarter Combat stand, reflected this. Their performance was assessed by WO2 Smith, a legend in the Royal Marines, who wrote in his comments: “all members of the team showed fantastic drills as well as leadership skills…”.
A second-place finish in the endurance course on Woodbury Common and a third-place finish in drill reflected the breadth of the talent in the team and highlights just how close the overall placings are. With more consistency and experience next year, the eight members of the team who are eligible to take part again will no doubt build on this solid base.
There are too many individual performances to comment on, but I would like to commend Eve Llewellyn for her outstanding performance in the stalk, Andrew Higgin’s gravity-defying balance on the command task and Arthur Myrddin-Evan’s precise drill.
I would also like to applaud the efforts of the other members of the team: Charles Bane, Fred Bayne, Sam Crossley, Freddie Foulger and Oliver Powell, who offered their best throughout; the two squad members who completed the training and ensured our team was as strong as it could be: Finnley Parr and Cosmo Waddell; plus the other members of school staff involved: Lieutenant Colonel David, Major Billington and WO2 Byrne, who helped to ensure that the event ran as smoothly as possible.