Match Reports

Jersey U16 Boys Inter Insular Report

Guernsey 3, Jersey 3

The inaugural U16s Junior Hockey mixed festival took place in Guernsey on Sunday with Rathbones Jersey’s youngsters defending both trophies. Following the two main Girls and Boys Inter Insulars were two mixed matches as the finale to the day.

Immediately after the Jersey Girls’ disappointing and close defeat, the boys took to the field determined to start fast to give themselves the best chance to retain the shield – and what a game it turned out to be. The coaches were also using this match as a very useful warm-up experience for the forthcoming Nationals Championships to be taking place in England in 2 weeks’ time.

And start fast Jersey did – impressive midfield pressing won Jersey a short corner in the 2nd minute and the well-choreographed routine brought a good save from the Guernsey keeper. A subsequent short corner, after good work from Jersey’s Adam Gower, gave Jersey an early lead. The Jersey team have been working hard on their short corner routines, and ‘Right Nugget’ worked like a dream. A good injection, slick slider from Tom Heelis and there was gunner Jacob Bell, right on time, to coolly deflect the ball home.

Jersey were dominating the first half and chances went begging before Guernsey eventually broke and won a short corner of their own which was well defended. But Jersey were on top and their superiority paid off after excellent work by midfielders Chris Thomas and Tom Bolton worked the ball towards the goal for the hard running forward Will Wycherley to deftly deflect home and Jersey had a deserved 2-0 lead.

Just before half time Guernsey started to come back into the game. A couple of their very skilful players were finding more room and one attack allowed one of the strikers to attempt a difficult reverse stick shot from the top of the D. He struck it perfectly and beat Jersey keeper Piers Brandie, who up till then had coped perfectly with the few chances that the Sarnians had created.

Important not to let Guernsey back into the game, Jersey kept their composure and right on half time Heelis made a strong run along the Guernsey back line before crossing. The ball found its way to Bell who cleverly tap-lobbed the Guernsey keeper to restore Jersey’s 2 goal cushion.

The Jersey boys knew that Guernsey would come out strongly in the second half to try and get the minimum of the three goals that would need to regain the honours. In the third minute Guernsey worked the ball into the Jersey D and some strong tackles came in, one of which was given by the umpire as a penalty stroke. Guernsey’s England rated player, who had been pushed higher up the field to try and get something going for them, stepped up and gave Brandie no chance.

Jersey’s defence of Toby Treharne, Xav Barette, Jack Le Bihan and Chris Carnegie were coping very well with Guernsey’s attacks and Jersey were seeing plenty of the ball too, with Jersey captain Henry Dowling and Gower bossing the midfield and keeping Guernsey’s dangermen under control. Jersey were creating good chances of their own, the best of which saw Heelis shoot narrowly wide and Gower hit the post.

Guernsey’s star player then showed what he can do by picking up the ball on the left, driving hard at Jersey defenders and then smashing a reverse stick shot high into Brandie’s goal and Guernsey were level. The Guernsey crowd came to life as now they only needed one more goal.

Tensions were rising, understandably, and the umpires started to ish out green and yellow cards to both sides, at one point both teams were down to 9 as side. The Jersey boys regained some composure and displayed excellent maturity to keep playing to the game plan, with Rhys Thomas and Jamie Watling in midfield moving the ball sensibly, leading to Jersey then winning a couple of short corners, which Guernsey defended well.

With just 10 minutes to go and the game perfectly balanced, a couple of Jersey mental errors led to two quick yellow cards which gave the Guernsey boys some hope. They pressurised the Jersey D and started to create some chances but Jersey’s Brandie was not to be beaten. First he palmed away a carbon copy reverse stick bullet from Guernsey’s star man and then he bravely logged to smother the Sarnian’s attempt after a mazy dribble.

With the atmosphere at fever-pitch, Guernsey finished the game with four short corners in quick succession but Jersey defended each one very comfortably and Jersey held on to retain the trophy.

This performance will give the boys a lot of confidence going into the four games in the National Championships in the coming weeks.

Boys Squad:

Henry Dowling (C), Chris Carnegie, Jacob Bell, Jamie Watling, Piers Brandie (GK), Adam Gower, Jack Le Bihan, Will Wycherley, Tom Bolton, Charlie Mossop, Rhys Thomas, Chris Thomas, Xav Barette, Tom Heelis, Toby Treharne, Robbie Forrest.

Coaches: Dom Pallot, Bill Aston, Paul Le Bihan and Simon Watling

Mixed Matches:

The two mixed matches that followed saw honours even with each island winning one match. Firstly, Charlie Mossop captained the ‘Xs’ to a 3-2 win with goals from Chris Carnegie, a brilliantly roofed penalty stroke by Olivia Besant and the winner converted by Mossop himself and then Robbie Forrest’s ‘Y’s went down 3-1 with Jersey’s goal coming from Wycherley.