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Over 40s defeat Guernsey to progress to next round!

Rathbones Jersey Over 40s took on Guernsey Hockey Over 40s on Sunday in the first round draw that both sides had hoped to avoid.  Jersey started the game tentatively and it was Guernsey who took the initiative finding early opportunities particularly on their right flank through Andrew Whalley.  Guernsey deservedly opened the scoring through Steven Waldrom flicking a short corner in to the top of the goal.  Jersey responded to this initial set back and came close to an equaliser through Jon Cartmell just pushing his effort wide.  Jersey equalised through Mike James forcing a reverse hit shot in to the bottom corner.  Mike James added a second shortly this time capitalising on confusion in the Guernsey defence following a string run by William Church.   As the half continued Jersey were thankful to Jonathan Bale for string of fine saves but as the half time whistle beckoned Jersey failed to clear their lines and a shot from Mark Babbe rebounded off the post to Robert Newton who neatly lifted the ball past the keeper.

The second half continued as a tight encounter with Guernsey earning a number of short corners but continued strong defensive work and some surprising misses from Guernsey kept the scores even.  Jersey were though also creating chances with Sean O’Flaherty scoring only to have his effort ruled out for an earlier whistle.    It was Mike James who was again on hand though for Jersey to regain the lead as his benefited from a short corner deflection to neatly flick the ball at shoulder height past two bemused defenders.  Jersey were now controlling the game and a fine move down the right by Stuart Ramskill was crossed to William Church who connected first time pushing the ball into the bottom corner.  Mike James capped of a fine personal performance with his fourth when he struck home another rebounded short corner strike this time from Mark Dicker’s flick.

Jersey saw out the remainder of the game to record a fine victory and now continue through in Tier 1 of the England Hockey Over 40s competition and with a bye in Round two will have to wait until the New Year to find out their opponents in Round three.

Squad  Jonathan Bale, Ross Collins, Dan Wilson, Bill Aston, Simon Watling, Richard Gilpin, JJ Anderson, Sean O’Flaherty, Stuart Ramskill, Mike James, James Wetherall (c), Arnou Helmholt-Kneisel, Jon Cartmell, Mark Dicker, William Church