The Royal Air Force edged past the Royal Navy 16 points to 14 in the opening game of this year's Inter Services Rugby Championship.

Sty Philpitt scored a try, with all the other air force points coming from the boot of Andy Byrne as the airmen saw off the defending champions at RAF Halton.

The Navy, meanwhile, scored a try through David Fairbrother and three penalties from John Humphrey. 

Both sides face Army opposition next, with the RAF travelling to Aldershot in a fortnight before the Senior Service lock horns with their old rivals at Twickenham at the end of the month in what will be the 100th Army Navy match.