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Navy Regains Shea Cup

College Men

Navy Regains Shea Cup

The US Naval Academy regained the Shea Cup with an impressive 28-0 shutout of Air Force Friday night at Annapolis.

Navy is now 1-0 in the Commander-in-Chief Trophy, the three-team series between Navy, Air Force, and Army. The Shea Cup is a challenge trophy between Air Force and Navy and is named for Lt. Col. Kevin Shea, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2004. Shea was an Air Force Academy rugby player who coached at Navy and served in the Marines.

Navy got tries from Adam Orischak, Nicholas Marmureanu, Joe Guthmann, and Daniel Tilghman, while Connor McNerney kicked a conversion and two penalty goals.

The game was played in wind and rain - the remote effects of Hurricane Joaquin - but the weather was not bad enough to halt the game. It did make it more of a forwards’ effort, as the wet ball and the wind led to plenty of dropped balls.

“We were able to consolidate our forward effort better,” said Navy Head Coach Mike Flanagan. “And we were good in the scrums and lineouts. which allowed us to put lot of pressure on first phase.”

Air Force stymied several Navy scoring opportunities and played tough rugby through to the end.

But the Navy forwards, led by props CJ Burke and Woody Dewing, had the better of the game. Both teams voted for a player of the game, and both voted for Navy flanker Tilghman, who was outstanding.

"Navy outplayed us today," said Air Force Head Coach Denny Meredith. "They managed to adapt to the conditions much better than us. Congratulations to them."

“Any time you can win an inter-service clash it’s a big deal," added Flanagan. “And a shutout in an inter-service game? They’re pretty hard to come by. Air Force was all class, but we’re pretty happy about getting the Shea Cup back.”