Guernsey 7 Jersey 3805/05/2014
Jersey won the Siam Cup for a sixth consecutive year, but were
given a testing afternoon by a determined Guernsey side.
The visitors made a strong start, with Mark McCrea going close only for a knock-on to end the threat. Scrum-half Nicky Griffiths was a lively presence until being forced from the field around the 20 minute-mark with an injury. Griffiths was involved twice in his team's opening score, making an initial break and then being on hand a few seconds later to race down the right. Niall O'Connor converted.
Griffiths and McCrea were again involved in setting up Ed Dawson for Jersey's second, and an O'Connor cross-kick may have set up the third but for miscommunication between McCrea and Dawson as the ball came down near the corner.
As Jersey began to dominate, a punishing series of drives was soaked up by the tenacious home defence, however something had to give and eventually Mark Foster crossed.
A number of replacements were introduced early in the second half but Jersey continued to press and crossed twice from set-piece lineout drives, Joe Buckle and Sam Lockwood were the scorers.
Arguably the pick of Jersey's tries was the sixth, which came directly from the kick-off and featured fine interplay from Foster and replacement James Copsey before Tom Brown galloped down the touchline to cross in the corner.
While other sides may have wilted after a physical contest played in warm sunshine, Guernsey continued to play with spirit and received their just reward when scrum-half Dale Rutledge went over in the closing stages. The eventual winning margin of 31 points made light of the three-level gap between the sides in the RFU pyramid and showed Guernsey will be among the challengers for promotion to National Two South next season.
Guernsey: Whitehead; J Batiste, McDougall, Campbell, Taylor; Ball, Rutledge; Craine, Ceillam, L Batiste, Hillier, Merrien, Thomas, Le Cocq, Barton.
Replacements: Garner, Hobbs, Bellingham, Garner, Dacres, O'Hanlon, Sayer, Challinor.
Jersey: Burroughs; Foster, Bishop (Copsey), McCrea, Dawson; O'Connor (Dudley), Griffiths (Williams); McCarthy (Lockwood), Stratford (Taione), Brennan (capt) (Selway), Rae, Voss (Markham), Makaafi (Maidment), Buckle, Brown.
Attendance: 2,000 (est)
Referee: Phil Davies
Assistant Referees: Paul Kimber and Richard Kelly
Tries: Griffiths, Dawson, Foster, Buckle, Lockwood, Brown
Cons: O'Connor (2); Dudley (2)
Jersey Wanderers battled back from a 24-7 half-time deficit to claim the honours in the Veterans match. Jersey's try scorers were Matt Davenport-Brown, Craig Simeon, Rory Steel and James Milner, with Darren Toudic adding four conversions, and the final score was 24-33.
Jersey fielded a 2nd team squad mixing youth and experience, and although it was the home team who scored first, the men in red seized control and eventually finished comfortable winners 24-43.
Guernsey led a close contest 8-5 at half-time but eventually pulled clear to give the hosts their only win of the day by 27-10.