A gritty display in wet and muddy conditions eventually
delivered a hard-fought Jersey win and the club's highest-ever
league placing of fifth.
The Islanders entered the last 10 minutes clinging to a
six-point lead, but a strong finish brought an eventually
comfortable win. Albion have now lost 16 consecutive competitive
matches and are rooted to the bottom of the Greene King IPA
Jonny Bentley had three penalty chances in the first half,
landing two of them to build his side's modest lead. There were few
try-scoring chances in the first period, and one lengthy injury
break for treatment to Albion's dual-registered wing Jack Arnott,
although the dual-registered wing was set to be discharged from
hospital to join his team-mates on their evening flight home.
Albion Player-Coach James Shanahan withdrew from the fray at
half-time, with Lawrence Rayner coming on in his place. Jersey had
try-scoring chances but Drew Locke knocked on after chasing his own
kick through, and Mark McCrea couldn't take a pass from Joel Dudley
after a quick lineout.
Rayner missed a relatively straightforward chance to halve the
deficit on the hour, but otherwise the home team were were
territorially dominant and eventually turned pressure into points
with a powerful driving maul finished by vice-captain Ryan Hodson
(pictured below). Jersey's replacement fly-half Aaron
Penberthy added the conversion and two late penalties to complete
Jersey's win was built on a committed display and outstanding
set-piece, including a lineout that worked like clockwork in
contrast with Albion who made a series of errors.
"We knew we'd be up against an emotionally-charged side, and we
coped really well," said Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon. "The most
impressive thing for me was our game management which is an area
where we are maturing game-by-game, and we backed that up with a
very low error count in difficult conditions.
"I was pleased that for the second game running we got the first
score of the second half, even if it did take us a while to get
points on the board."
Biljon admitted that he'd had a tough choice to make at
fly-half, adding: "I thought there was a good balance with Jonny
Bentley managing the game well and then Aaron Penberthy helping us
to get in the right areas to score points in the closing
And there was praise for scrum-half Joel Dudley who played the
entire 80 minutes.
"Joel was selected on the back of a great performance two weeks
ago and he's backed that up today with a great display," Biljon
Report by Tom Innes
Picture by Sue Trower - more of Sue's pictures are available now on
our Facebook page or shortly on the 'Galleries' section of this site
Jersey: Pointer, Foster, Locke, Robling, McCrea,
Bentley (Penberthy 65), Dudley; Lockwood (Lancuba 78), Garcia-Veiga
(Harris 77), Herriott (Brennan 75), Campbell, Markham, Rae (capt),
Hodson, Haining. Replacements (not used): Noone, Glynn,
Plymouth Albion: Koteczky, Arnott (Warner 34),
Woods, Howley-Berridge, Homan, Shanahan (Rayner 40), Cushion
(Setter 71); Fidler (Chapman 71), Cowan-Dickie (Matavesi 68),
Tiedemann (Heard 71), Oakley, Jubb, Langley, Simmonds, Bone (Grace
Referee: Andrew Jackson (RFU)
Man-of-the-match (chosen by match sponsor Apex Trust
Company: Ryan Hodson (Jersey)
Tries: Hodson 70
Conversion: Penberthy 70
Penalties: Bentley 24, 36, Penberthy 72, 79
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.