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Two out of three for Galaxy

GALAXY scooped two out of three trophies at the CISX Channel Islands’ Championship.

The two-day tournament saw teams from Guernsey, Jersey, England, Scotland and Wales take part with more than 150 players competing including around 60 from off-island.

‘It was a huge success, no doubt the best CISX Channel Islands’ Championship we have had so far. The increased number of entries led to an extremely high level of touch and it was fantastic to see local teams competing against teams from Jersey and the UK,’ said Guernsey Touch chair,’ said Guernsey Touch chair Katrina Bray.

The 10 mixed teams were divided into two pools with the top three teams in each division meeting in the cup, plate and bowl finals. The six men’s and six ladies teams were also divided into two pools with the results deciding which teams were in the cup, plate and bowl finals.

In the Mixed competition Bareback Riders, made up of players from England and Scotland, and Galaxy, which included players from Guernsey, Jersey, England and Wales, were the only teams to win all four of their group stage games. They met in the finals with Bareback taking the title, as they did 

Guernsey side Source Sorcerers came second in Mixed A and played last year’s mixed winners Hot Custard in the mixed plate with the local team winning 7 – 1. Oxford Barbarians won the mixed bowl after finishing third in their group and drawing Jersey team CO2 in the bowl final which finished 3 – 1.

In the men’s competition Galaxy and Varsity Vandals won their group fixtures to secure their places in the men’s cup final which saw Galaxy scoop the title 10 – 4. In the men’s plate, Source Sorcerers beat Panthers 5 – 0 and in the men’s bowl, Martel-Dunn beat Mid-Lager Crisis 7 – 3.

The ladies cup final saw the only drop-off of the weekend when Source All Stars and Galaxy ended full-time with seven touchdowns each. Within the first two minutes, Galaxy had taken their second final of the day by crossing the line to score the winning touchdown. Panthers won the ladies’ plate after beating A Woman’s Touch 4 – 1 and it was the same score in the ladies bowl between Welsh team Varsity Vandals and Rhubarb & Custard with the visitors winning the trophy.

Over the course of the weekend, captains were asked to nominate a most valued player from the opposing side. Former Guernsey player Nick Guy, who now lives in Jersey, won the mixed MVP award, Rhys Jelley from Martel-Dunn won the men’s and Marie Stefani from Rhubarb & Custard won the ladies.

The weekend also saw nine Guernsey referees being assessed for their Level 2 qualification after completing a course led by Derek Fisher, European Director of Referees for the Federation of International Touch, who came to the tournament to coach local referees. At the awards presentation Aaron Le Masurier, Richard Duchemin, Carly Parrott, Geraint Cooper, Chris Goddard, Marie Stefani, Chris Wrigley, Alec Bailey and Justeen Baker were all awarded with their Level 2 badges.

‘Attitude to refereeing is something that has always particularly impressed me in Guernsey. While it’s obvious that everyone wants to play, there are also so many players who are willing to help out with refereeing. I firmly believe that this is a key reason for Guernsey’s recent successes – quality referees enable players to play at a higher level,’ said Fisher.

‘I genuinely feel that Guernsey Touch fully understands that investing in referee development brings wider benefits for the development of players and thus the sport in general – the fact that they have fully funded an experienced referee to attend the tournament for two successive years is testament to that. They have seen great results in both the ability and performance of their referees and are setting a great example to other European nations.’

Bray said the challenge now for the committee was to maintain momentum and ensure that the tournament continues to grow.

‘The feedback we have had has been very positive and we hope that the teams who came to Guernsey this year will go back to their leagues and encourage other teams to come across next year. We want the CISX Channel Islands Championship to be the tournament which players put in their calendars first - hopefully we’re well on the way to achieving that,’ she said.