Second and Third Teams Make Their Mark on Inter Insular Weekend 2019
Guernsey played host to a magnificent day of hockey on Saturday. The first games to light up the turf at Footes Lane belonged to the two third teams. The Ladies were looking to retain their trophy and make it 3 wins from 3, with the Men aiming to come back from a defeat away in Jersey last year.
With the Ladies starting earlier, the first chance of the day fell to Guernsey after the electrifying pace of Suzi Druce created a brilliant scoring opportunity. Unfortunately, it wasn’t taken but this was a sign of the positive play to come. Guernsey aimed to get the ball forwards quickly and looked dangerous with the forward line combining well with the midfielders to find space and quick passes forward. Other chances came, with the goal-hungry Liza Sayer getting on the end of a couple of difficult chances that ultimately went wide. The Jersey goalkeeper was made to work hard and produced a number of outstanding saves. Most notably, with Druce through in a one on one situation, diving to the left to make a great tackle and prevent a certain goal. They went in 0-0 at halftime.
The second half continued in the same way, with Guernsey making some further good chances. They continued to press high up the pitch and began to force mistakes from the Jersey defence. The first goal came midway through the half after one of the Guernsey midfield pounced on a loose pass. Nicole Hewlett, having been fed the ball, found herself in space at the edge of the circle and wasted no time dispatching a fierce shot into the bottom corner. Not long after, Guernsey was in again. This time through the calm midfield play of Kath Guille, who beat a player on the edge of the circle before slotting in a precisely placed flick. Jersey continued to battle hard and could have got back in the game were it not for the agility of veteran goalkeeper Sheelagh Niles, who stretched right to the corner to keep out a well placed strike. Not long after the final whistle blew and Guernsey emerged victorious, giving the home island it’s first win to go towards the big stick.
Meanwhile, the Men’s thirds had not got off to the best start. Having been riddled with injury throughout the week, preparation was not ideal and some fresh blood was brought in to help support a team which mixed experience and youth. This meant that the team had not trained much together and they quickly found themselves behind. They continued to defend resolutely and created chances, however, they went in a half-time 3-0. After some inspirational words from former first team captain Damian Wallen, the Guernsey players came out fighting in the second half. The enthusiasm of the younger players and the experience of the hockey veterans (along with a cameo performance from Andy Dawson-Ball up front) showed through, with the home side producing some excellent attacking play and resolute defending throughout the second half.
After probing the Jersey defence, Guernsey quickly found an opening, with Andy Dawson-Ball deflecting a strike from a penalty corner, making the score 3-1. Throughout the second half, Guernsey continued with their fine attacking play, with the experienced midfield combination of Mark Babbe, Kevin Smith and Wallen creating a number of opportunities. It wasn’t long before one fell to Babbe, who smashed it fiercely into the top corner. The home side continued to pile on the pressure towards the end of the second half and, with 10 minutes to go, the ball fell to Wallen, who had anticipated well to get the final touch just before the goalkeeper. An exciting, end to end game ended 3-3, with Jersey retaining the trophy.
Next it was the turn of the Ladies’ second team, who boasted a strong side, with youth throughout the team.They made a strong start to the game, putting pressure on the Jersey defence and creating a couple of chances. That didn’t last long, as Jersey, who were able to call upon a number of experienced players, began to assert themselves on the game. The Guernsey players defended valiantly, but there was continued pressure on their goal. Eventually, a shot came in from the edge of the circle, which found its way home, making it 1-0. Guernsey continued to attack and created more pressure, drawing a couple of good saves from the Jersey goalkeeper. They went into halftime at 1-0.
The second half was when the real action started to take place, with Guernsey coming into the half very strongly. The dynamic and direct Maeve Tully began to influence the game more in this period, creating a number of opportunities that weren’t quite taken. After a period of Guernsey pressure, a defensive mix-up let in a Jersey forward to make it 2-0. Guernsey continued to attack, staying true to their style of play and it wasn’t long before the Jersey was forced to make a fine save. The ball fell to Becky Hambleton in the circle, but it was too close to the keeper who managed to make another save on the follow-up shot. With time ticking down, Guernsey continued to press, which left space behind the Guernsey defence. Making her debut, goalkeeper Hannah Eulenkamp, was forced into making a brilliant stick save to keep out another Jersey; the rebound, unfortunately falling to another unmarked Jersey forward who made it 3-0. The Guernsey Ladies continued to battle and kept up the pressure, but the final score remained 3-0.
The final contest in the ‘best of the rest’ category was between the Men’s second teams. This game has always been a fascinating encounter with Guernsey coming back late last year to draw the game 3-3 and retain the trophy. This year, the contest was no different. Playing a new, aggressive style of hockey, guernsey started slowly as they got used to how to play. This allowed Jersey to have a couple of chances, which were well saved by Morgan Clayton. Guernsey continued to press high up the pitch and were getting the ball forward quickly and looking dangerous. Several chances had already been created, when a goal from the training ground was produced. Tom Cashin, driving forward found Steve Eulenkamp diving in on the far post, who touched the ball just enough to allow Hamish Glass to finish from close range. As the half progressed, Guernsey continued to press forward, with the midfield three of Cashin, Elliott Wilson and Dan Gill controlling the ball. It wasn’t long before Glass was in again to find his second of the afternoon.
Then came half time and after some words of wisdom from coach Miles Davies and captain Tom Rigby, the team came out fighting again. It wasn’t long before Guernsey found the backboard again, this time Jack Birch beating 2 players and finishing into the far corner. 3-0 Guernsey. Again Guernsey continued to attack and more chances were created. Hamish Glass found himself through again and buried another shot passed the goalkeeper for his third goal and first hat-trick in a green shirt. With the home side boosted with confidence they continued to attack and press hard. Jersey began to back their individual skills and some very dangerous chances were created. It was only a matter of time before they began to take them. With 10 minutes to go the score was 4-0. With 8 minutes to go it was 4-2. Jersey were on the up, but still Guernsey attacked. The green cause was not helped by a lack of discipline, which saw 3 cards given out in the last 12 minutes, meaning that Guernsey spent most of this time with 10 men. Jersey continued to press and create chances, with a well-worked deflection at a penalty corner finding its way past Clayton, who continued to make saves. With only moments to go, Jersey found the back of the net a fourth time. It was game on and the final whistle couldn’t have come soon enough for the Guernsey players. Final score 4-4, but arguably the game of the day was witnessed by the growing crowd at Footes Lane.
The first teams that put on two great shows with the Ladies coming close to avenging their defeat from last year, with the only Guernsey goal coming from Bianca Symes. The Men then produced their best hockey of the season, to beat Jersey 3-1, with goals from Sam Dawes, Steve Waldrom and Tom Cashin.
Overall Jersey retained the big stick, which is put on display in both clubhouses for the year.
L3: Guernsey 3 – 0 Jersey
M3: Guernsey 3 – 3 Jersey (Jersey retain the trophy)
L2: Guernsey 0 – 3 Jersey
M2: Guernsey 4 – 4 Jersey (Guernsey retain the trophy)
L1: Guernsey 1 – 2 Jersey
M1: Guernsey 3 – 1 Jersey
L3s: Back L-R: Eloise Chubb, Kath Guille, Sarah Savident, Suzi Druce, Nicole Hewlett, Phoebe Ovenden, Kyla Bartlett, Ellie Knowlden, Peter Stahelin (coach)
Middle: L-R: Fran Bulpit, Elise Dandecker, Ellie Regnard, Dawn Barber, Dawn Cashin (capt.), Liza Sayer
Front: Sheelagh Niles
L2: Back L-R: Hannah Eulenkamp, Lucy le Page, Rosa Bonner-Morgan, Becky Hambleton, Danni Cluett, Megan Renouf, Chesi McLuskey, Jenny Thomas, Peter Stahelin (coach)
Front L-R: Maeve Tully, Emily Savident, Millie Garnett, Caryn Rieger (capt.), Sophie Warren, Martha Nuttal, Katie Laine
M2: Back L-R: Miles Davies (coach), Tom Rigby (capt.), Max Sharpe, Chris Lowin, Tom Cashin, Hugo Thompson, Morgan Clayton, Noah Whitmore, Carl Pugh
Front L-R: Hamish Glass, Jim Underwod, Steve Eulenkamp, Elliott Wilson, Matt Dorey, Dan Gill