GUERNSEY HOPING FOR HOME ADVANTAGE
GUERNSEY will be hoping that the home advantage will give them the touch inter-insular title for the first time in the tournament’s eight year history.
The annual event, which sees the men’s, ladies and mixed teams from each island compete, has been won by Jersey since it first began in 2005 but last year’s games were the closest yet with Guernsey winning the ladies 3-2, losing the men’s 3 -1 and the mixed 9 - 6.
‘Touch has been played in Jersey for far longer than it has in Guernsey but despite that the gap between the two islands has been closing year on year. Last year’s games were incredibly close and it was hard to see which team was going to win until the final whistle. The results could so easily have been the other way,’ said Guernsey Touch chair Katrina Bray.
‘We’re hoping that this year will be Guernsey’s year as all three teams have been training hard and are determined to keep the trophies.’
The FNB-sponsored teams will each play for 40 minutes with the men’s playing first, followed by the mixed with the ladies’ game ending the competition.
‘This is the first time the inter-insular has been played in Guernsey since FNB agreed to be our sponsor and so we’re hoping that we can recognise their amazing support for the sport with three out of three wins.’
Following the inter-insular, the FNB-sponsored Guernsey Mixed team will play the Welsh Mixed team who will then take on the Jersey Mixed team as part of the three nations’ preparation for the European Championship in September. On Sunday Wales, which is using the weekend as one of its training camps before heading to Italy, will again play each Channel Islands’ team.
‘It can be very difficult and extremely expensive for representative teams from the Channel Islands to play against other nations but it is an absolutely vital part of our preparation for the Euros. We’re delighted that Wales has decided to come to Guernsey and it will be a great opportunity for spectators to come down and see three representative sides in action,’ said Guernsey’s coach Ollie Ward.
The inter-insular games, which take place at North Field are due to start at 1.30pm on Saturday with the games against Wales due to start at 4.30pm. On Sunday, again at North Field, Wales will play Guernsey at 9.30am and then play Jersey at 11.30am.