Guernsey reaches mixed bowl final at Touch World Cup
TWO great performances saw Guernsey reach the final of the Mixed Open Bowl at the Touch World Cup.
Competing for the first time in the event, which has attracted more than 100 teams from 27 different nations, the island will now finish as one of the top 10 mixed national teams in the world.
'It's amazing, a simply brilliant performance by the team and they deserve this recognition after months of training and preparation. In terms of size, Guernsey is the smallest nation competing and so to be in the top 10 is a massive achievement,' said chair of Guernsey Touch Katrina Bray.
Throughout the tournament, Guernsey has played nine men and seven women in each game but with Marie Stefani and Georgia Smith being ruled out by injury, there was little choice but to play with nine men and just five women and every player rose to the challenge.
Guernsey's quarter final saw a rematch with Singapore, who they had met in the preliminary round which saw the Greens lose 3 -2. With everything to prove, Guernsey played some excellent touch taking an early lead from Matt Brehaut. Mark Rodliffe and Carly Parrott added two more to give the island a comfortable lead at the end of the first half.
In the second half, Sam Stables added the fourth before Singapore answered with their first and only touchdown of the game. A second from Stables in the last few minutes of the game secured Guernsey's place in the semi-finals where they met Switzerland.
In what is his first year playing touch for Guernsey, Stables used his pace to score two touchdowns in the first half, which together with one from Richard Duchemin, put the island 3 - 0 ahead at half-time. In the second half, Stables added his third, there were two from Alec Bailey and another from Parrott. Great defending kept Switzerland's score to just one ending the game in a 7 - 1 win for the island and a final against USA, who they previously met in the second round.
'That game ended five all and so we know it's going to be an incredibly close game. They have a couple of injured players, as do we, and we have a lot of tired legs and aching muscles. However, this will be the most important touch game every single Guernsey player will have played and so we're determined to give it everything we have,' said captain Ollie Ward.
Fixtures and results can be found at https://www.touchworldcup2011.co.uk/fixtures-results/mixed-open/