St Jacques v Jersey Athletic report27/09/2012
VerrasLaw JRA League
St Jacques 7 Jersey Athletic 8
Several unavailable and injured players meant it was a threadbare 15-man JRFC Athletic squad who travelled to King George V ground in Guernsey, writes James Milner. They were met by a strong St Jacques team who were still hurting from their large loss to Banks the previous week and eager to make amends.
The first half was very untidy, with a high number of errors and turnovers from both sides giving the front row boys plenty of scrummaging practice. Whenever the A's threatened the St Jacques 22, a knock-on, forward pass or ruck turnover would thwart them. This was partly their own fault and partly due to the excellent work of the St Jacques' loose forwards, particularly Bjorn Van Der Kammen.
Athletic continued to attack with verve though, notable performances coming from Tim Corson and Luke Trotter on the carrying front, while young debutant Luke Stedman made his presence felt around the park. With the wind behind them and the match still scoreless after half an hour, Will Falle stepped up to stroke over a penalty which would prove to be vital at the final whistle.
Still in the hunt at half-time the crowd were sensing an upset and St Jacques came out fighting in the second half but were resisted by sturdy Jersey defence. Captain Tom Chamberlain took on a penalty effort from his own half which fell agonisingly short and allowed Jersey to counter-attack through Chris Lowe at scrum half. With better field position Jersey were able to attack from a series of scrums with the indefatigable Corson making life difficult for his opposite number and Jamie Crawford providing most of the attacking threat in the backline.
The Jersey side stretched their lead when Lowe stole down a large blind-side, threw an outrageous dummy and then pinned his ears back for the corner. Finally the A's could breathe a sigh of relief as they were more than a score ahead. They weren't to extend this advantage however as first Crawford was called back from a quickly-taken penalty with the try line begging, and then Stedman had a try disallowed for a forward pass several phases earlier.
While the Saints were able to bring on numerous sets fresh legs from their bench, the Jersey team began to tire and this allowed Jacques centre Steve De Jersey to pick some easy gaps in the backline with his strong running. With their backs to the wall, the A's defended savagely but an increasing penalty count was not in their favour. With what was to be the final play of the game, St Jacques went through several phases just yards from the Jersey line until winger Steve Davison was able to dot down in the corner. Chamberlain kicked the conversion and left the visitors as winners by the narrowest possible margin.
The St Jacques players made a special award after the game, in honour of his long service and captaincy of the victorious side, of a carefully-made cocktail to delighted A's skipper Ian Henderson (pic above courtesy of St Jacques' website).
Man of the Match: Tim Corson
Jersey Athletic squad: Pople, DeNoury, Curzons, Henderson (Capt), Trotter, Stedman, Williams, Corson, Lowe, Falle, Carpenter, Taylor, Milner, Beuzeval, Crawford.