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Guernsey has increased confidence after trophy win

GUERNSEY will head to next week’s World Cup with increased confidence after returning from a European tournament with a piece of silverware.

Playing under the Green Army name at the GIF club level tournament in Paris, the team won the Mixed Bowl.

‘The team was predominantly our World Cup mixed squad and was the ideal opportunity for us to play at a much higher level than we can when we are training. It was an excellent way for us to practice our attacking moves and our defensive play and identify areas that we need to work on ahead of next week’s World Cup,’ said Guernsey captain Ollie Ward.

Guernsey found itself in a tough group in the round robin stage joining Galaxy Worldwide, Mort de Faim and Oxford Touch. The first game was against Galaxy Worldwide which included the captains of Galaxy teams from across the United Kingdom including Laura Cravo from Guernsey as well as players who will represent their countries at the World Cup. The game ended in a 5 – 0 defeat for Guernsey.

The next game was against French team Mort de Faim, which again included players who will represent their country at the World Cup. Guernsey crossed into the touchdown zone twice but lost the game 4 – 2.

The last round robin game was against Oxford Touch – a repeat of a fixture from the same tournament last year which saw Oxford Touch win 4 – 2. This year however the result was turned around with Guernsey winning 4 – 2.

The two teams met again in the Bowl quarter-finals when Guernsey increased its winning margin scoring five touchdowns and stopping Oxford crossing into the touchdown zone. In the semi-finals, Guernsey met another French side Mixy which ended in a 4 – 2 win for the greens and secured them a place in the finals.

The final was against Kituro from Belgium and featured many of the Belgium Mixed team which Guernsey will meet in the group stages of the World Cup. The 9 – 1 win gave Guernsey the trophy and increased confidence ahead of their biggest tournament in the sport’s local history.

‘There is no doubt we had the strongest pool with Galaxy Worldwide winning the Mixed Cup, Mort de Faim winning the Mixed Plate and Oxford Touch winning their play-off games but that gave us invaluable experience and we’re now looking forward to seeing how far we can progress in the World Cup,’ said Ward.

This will be the first time Guernsey has been represented at the five-day tournament which takes place in Edinburgh and has attracted more than 100 teams from 28 different countries including Japan, America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, France, Italy and Germany.

Guernsey has been seeded 10th out of 23 teams taking part in the Mixed Open division and has drawn America, Belgium, Australia and England in its pool. The team plays America, Belgium and Australia on Wednesday 22nd June before an early morning game against England at 7.40am on Thursday 23rd June. Teams will then be divided into a cup and bowl competition with fixtures being announced after the pool games.

The team leaves on Sunday 19th June with the tournament starting on Wednesday 22nd June. On Tuesday 21st June Guernsey has been selected to train 29 youngsters from a local school in the Youth Touch Festival. The island is one of just five nations to have been selected alongside Australia, Nuie, Singapore and France.