Guernsey now needs to build on Euros experience
Guernsey Touch now needs to build on the experience of the European Touch Championship.
A squad of 54 represented the island at the five day tournament, which took place in Jersey and saw 14 countries represented by more than 1,000 players with Guernsey playing in the mixed open, men’s open and women’s open categories.
‘The competition was really strong and we always knew it was going to be a challenging tournament. Across the three times, only a quarter of the players had experience of an international tournament and so they will have learnt an awful lot from the experience,’ said Guernsey Touch chair Ollie Ward.
‘The home nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland all have very professional set ups and so there will always be a gap between them and us. Our aim is to try and become the best of the rest and with lots of youngsters now involved at an island level, the sport has a bright future.’
The tournament got underway with an official opening ceremony with the squad choosing Iain Thompson as Guernsey’s flag bearer.
On day one Guernsey women’s lost 7 – 4 to Italy with two touchdowns from Jemma Crouse and one each for Lindsay de Sausmarez and captain Hannah Dunnel and then 10 – 1 against Germany with Chloe Gallienne the only scorer. Guernsey men’s, led by Mark Bristowe, lost 11 – 2 to Ireland with touchdowns from Tom Teasdale and Alex Burt, then beat Germany 7 – 4 with Ward scoring twice, Teasdale adding his second and one each from Luke Semenowicz, Tom Zierer and Daniel Hainsworth before suffering a 22 – 0 defeat to England. Guernsey mixed, head up by Carly Parrott, suffered three defeats losing 15 – 1 to Wales with Danni Cluett opening the scoring, 6 – 1 to Jersey with Matthew Armstrong the only Guernsey scorer and 13 – 4 to France with two touchdowns from Dominic Page and one apiece from Matthew Armstrong and Megan de Garis.
On day two, Guernsey women’s lost 24 – 0 to England, 17 – 0 to Wales and 6 – 1 to the Netherlands with Crouse adding her second of the tournament. Guernsey men’s lost 13 – 5 to Scotland with two touchdowns from Bristowe and one apiece for Burt, Sam Ward and Paul Machon. In their next game Chris Ferbrache scored twice and Dave Middleton, Ashley Lesbirel, Teasdale, Semenowicz, Zierer and Ward all scored once to beat Italy 8 – 7 before they went on to lose 11 – 5 to Belgium with Hainsworth scoring twice and one each from Teasdale, Burt and Lesbirel. The mixed team played Middle East Touch and lost 9 – 1 with Matthew Armstrong the only scorer, lost 21 – 2 to Scotland with touchdowns from Matthew Armstrong and Page and 12 -1 to England with Wing Lai scoring.
On day three, Guernsey women’s lost 10 – 2 to Belgium with Laura Foster and Tanya Scholtz scoring and 12 – 0 to France. Guernsey men’s lost 15 – 1 to France with Bristowe the only player to cross into the touchdown zone and 7 – 2 to Wales with Teasdale and Zierer adding to their tallies. Guernsey mixed had just one game, this time a more evenly matched rematch against Middle East Touch which ended in an 8 – 4 defeat with two from Ben Holland and one each for the Armstrong brothers.
On day four, Guernsey women’s played Scotland on day four and lost 14 – 0. Guernsey men’s finish with a 9 – 6 win over Luxembourg with Middleton scoring a hat-trick and one each from Paul Beale, Harry Burns, Burt, Machon, Lesbirel and Hainsworth. The mixed team had another game against Jersey and lost 9 – 3 with Matthew Armstrong, Kin Lai and Iain Thomson all adding one apiece.
The KPMG-sponsored island teams have now ended their season but the committee is looking ahead to which international tournaments Guernsey should attend in 2017 ahead of the next European Touch Championship in 2018.
Guernsey women’s team is Cara Fitzpatrick, Chloe Gallienne, Eleanor Woodward, Hannah Dunnell, Jemma Crouse, Katie Cochrane, Laura Foster, Laura Middleton, Lindsay de Sausmarez, Lynne Hamilton, Morgan Johnson, Sarah Woodington, Sophie Ferbrache and Tanya Scholtz.
Guernsey men’s team is Alex Burt, Ash Lesbirel, Chris Ferbrache, Damian Dennis, Daniel Hainsworth, Dave Middleton, Harry Burns, Jacques Le Vallee, Luke Semenowicz, Mark Bristowe, Oliver Ward, Paul Beale, Paul Machon, Sam Ward, Tom Teasdale and Tom Zierer.
Guernsey’s mixed team is Annie Paul, Anthony Armstrong, Ben Holland, Carly Parrott, Danni Cluett, Dom Page, Iain Thompson, Kin Lai, Megan de Garis, Laura Mitchell, Matt Armstrong, Rhianna Barnes, Richard Perrio and Wing Lai.
Travelling with the team were Justeen Baker as coach, team managers Alex Clark, Jimmy Bean and Matt Brehaut, tour manager Debbie Paul and physios Nick Rowley, Espen Holt and Charlotte Dahl.