A close run thing that brought credit to all

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Both islands have athletes of outstanding potential, in the field and on the track, and this more often than not made for superb competition at a sun-drenched FB Fields.Championship records fell – and not always to personal bests – as the old rivals won two sections each, with Jersey’s overall victory in the end coming down to a massive 39-points advantage in the under-14 boys.

Jersey won all the events in this age group bar one, and that to a 1,500m run from Matt Loveridge that carved nearly nine seconds off the old mark.Jersey certainly turned the tide big time in this age section, Guernsey having won the last five times.

The Forrest brothers, Rory and Callum, cleaned up between 200 and 800 metres including a shared first in the 200m, with Rory also topping in the long jump.

Their talents also helped give Jersey the edge in the relay.Dominic Robson enjoyed the perfect set, including hurdles, triple jump and javelin firsts.

But once again the outstanding new marks came from thrower Jamie Stephenson.

His shot mark of 12.16m broke the inter-insular record by 31 cm and his 38.6m discus throw improved the 1993 mark of Paul Corcoran by almost five metres.

Astonishingly, the discus throw was not even a PB!The absence from the U15 boys section of another serial record breaker, Jersey’s injured Paul Dingle, gave the hosts too big a mountain to climb although they more than held their own in the field events, winning four of the six.One of those wins, the high jump, was a great competition and produced a new championship mark of 1.72 for Jersey’s Jason Fox.

The youngster dug deep for this win; the multi-talented Ben Page went clear at 1.69m with his third jump and Fox, needing a personal best just to force another round produced just that – against general expectation.The winning mark, one centimetre above the 2002 championship best of Jersey’s Mark Fromage, was cleared in great style – but this time only by Fox.The girls’ under-15 competition produced the tightest result of the day, with Guernsey’s seven-point win only confirmed with victory in the relay – and both teams were given the same time in that.No championship marks fell in the section, but competition was fierce, with Jersey’s Courtney Williams the only athlete to win in the field (long jump) and on the track (hurdles).In the under-14 section Jersey’s Sophie Twinam went agonisingly close to creating a new inter-insular record in the high jump, with her PB leap of 1.52m equalling the 12-year-old mark of the Island’s R Le Gresley.Jersey just held the edge with seven victories (and a joint first for Serena Gutherie and Guernsey’s Kimberley Page in the hurdles), despite a double first for Guernsey prospect Kimberly Gleeson in the sprint and long jump.This was school sports at its best; endeavour, talent and behaviour were all highly praised by Education, Sport and Culture’s Derek de la Haye at the awards ceremony as was the teamwork shown between the schoolteachers and Jersey Spartan AC officials.

Suitably inspired, the ESC official trotted across the track to don his pads for a game of cricket.

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