The crew from HMS Dauntless swapped the decks for the sports pitch when they took on two local teams in a pair of friendly matches.

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Dressed in strips that showed off the warship’s emblem the crew took on Grosvenor FC and Lowestoft and Yarmouth Rugby Club in two matches at Lynn Grove High School in Gorleston this morning (Saturday).

And they won both fixtures beating the football team 5 - 3 and the rugby players 34 - 0.

Paul Copp, sales and events manager at Yarmouth’s Grosvenor Casino, was among the players who took on the Dauntless crew in the football.

He said: “They were like machines running rings round us but it was a good game, we all enjoyed ourselves.

“They went 2 - 0 up and we battled back a little bit and then they sort of ran away with it but it was good fun, and there was some good humour during the game.”

The matches were organised by Aidy Simm, football development officer at Lynn Grove High, who served in the Army for 22 years in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

He said: “Being ex forces I know how much emphasis is put into public relations and for people to be on ship for long periods of time, they enjoy the opportunity to come and participate in sport.

“The guys have been looking forward to it, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn round and say you have played a team from a warship.”

It is hoped games can be played between the ship’s company and local teams whenever Dauntless docks in Yarmouth, and Mr Copp said he and his fellow players were already looking forward to a re-match.

The state of the art Type 45 destroyer, which sailed into its adopted port yesterday, has also been welcoming groups of visitors today, including the Yarmouth sea cadets and members of the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Special Olympians.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the town is expected to be filled with well wishers when the ship’s company parade through Yarmouth and march to the Minster for a special service marking the visit.

And tomorrow will also bring the opportunity for the public to step on board Dauntless and see her up close, when she lowers her gang plank from 10am to 3pm.

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