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The RAF and the British Army experienced contrasting fortunes on an historic day for Forces American Football – each facing BAFA league teams for the very first time on Sunday and drawing lots of positives from the experience.

The RAF defeated Oxford Saints while the Army suffered heavy defeat at the hands of the Yorkshire Rams who despite their victory were rich in praise for their military opponents offering “a massive thank you” describing the squad as “a group of serious athletes and contenders”.

The airforce team that was able to go one step further on their debut – winning 28-13 against the Saints.

Chairman, Squadron Leader Cameron Stewart, said: “What a fantastic day of football it has been. I for one am incredibly proud of the performance put in. Everyone from the players, coaching staff, committee and game day volunteers share in the success we’ve had here.

“There’s a lot of work to build upon going forwards, but the fact we’ve been able to field a competitive team and win against a solid Division 1 side shows the potential we have as an organisation.”

Despite defeat, Sgt Abe Day, the Army’s Head Coach drew many positives from the experience. He said: “This was the culmination of five years hard work so it was a special moment and the whole build up process was really exciting and fulfilling. We knew going into this game that if we were going to get a single yard we were going to have to scrap for it. When I look back at the footage despite losing the game there were some really big positives.

“We were not physically out matched in any way and there were a lot of pluses to take away and we’ve got a lot of good things to work on. We are really happy that we choose a tougher opponent –  because as much as you know it hurts to lose,  I’d rather lose and learn and not learn anything and go into the services games not ready.”