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Three losses for Guernsey in touch inter-insular

Guernsey came away without a win at this year’s touch inter-insular as Jersey retained the trophy for the seventh time in the competition’s eight year history.

The greens, who had nine new caps among the three teams, were minus a number of their more experienced players but had gone to Jersey hoping they would be ready for a challenge.

‘To lose all three was disappointing but Jersey deserved the win as they were the stronger side overall. We knew it was going to be tough as we had so many new players, we need to learn from our mistakes and improve on the things we did well,’ said Guernsey Touch chair Ollie Ward.

‘We have some younger players who are showing a natural ability for the sport and so hopefully we can combine their speed and enthusiasm with the experience and expertise of some of the older players and be in a much stronger position on home soil next year.’

The ladies took to the field first and Jersey scored three times in the first half with the first coming on the wing, the second through the mid finding space and the third from a long ball to link. Two scoops in the second half added touchdowns four and five to Jersey’s tally and another long ball but this time to the wing made it six. Guernsey’s only touchdown came from Laura Foster on her debut at island level using a well-rehearsed start move meaning the final result was a 6 – 1 win to Jersey.

The men’s team had hoped to make it two in a row after winning last year’s clash 5 – 3 and although it was the closest game of the afternoon and the scoreline was the same, this year it was in Jersey’s favour.

The reds scored first before Anthony Armstrong, in his first game for Guernsey, made it one all going into half time with a touchdown in the left corner. Ward, who was captaining the men’s team, put Guernsey ahead but Jersey soon equalised and then a scoop and pass to the wing saw them edge ahead.

Chris Goddard, on what could be his last appearance for Guernsey ahead of his move to Switzerland with KPMG, scooped and passed to Matthew Chick who made it three apiece. Jersey then scored two more to take the win.

Last year’s mixed game was dominated by Jersey who won 12 – 3 and it was a similar story this year. Jersey took an early lead and scored five times in the first half meaning Guernsey had an almost impossible task in the second.

The reds scored seven more before a dive across the line from Iain Thompson gave Guernsey a consolation touchdown. Jersey scored one more to end the game 13 – 1.

‘We have the European Championship taking place in Jersey next year and we’re aiming to take at least three teams across. Despite the defeat, everyone was in good spirits and keen to make amends next year so we’ll be working hard ahead of that competition in June,’ said Ward.

The ladies team was Caitlin Bowie, Eleanor Woodward, Laura Foster, captain Hannah Dunnell, Laura Mitchell, Annie Paul, Rebekah Fant, Lynne Hamilton, Megan De Garis, Justeen Baker, Katie Cochrane and Sarah Woodington.

The men’s team was Tom Zierer, James Monk, Anthony Armstrong, captain Ollie Ward, Chris Goddard, Matthew Chick, Dan Hainsworth, Sam Ward, Harry Burns and Mark Bristowe.

The mixed team was Sophie Ferbrache, Mel Jimenez, Charly Alston, captain Laura Mitchell, Ollie Ward, Harry Burns, Dominic Page, Iain Thompson, Alex Burt and Luke Gardner.