Jersey take inter-island softball honours

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Perversely, their B-team, in only their second inter-insular, lost, 16-14, at Beau Séjour on Saturday, having won against Guernsey in Jersey a year ago.For the A-team revenge was sweet, and they made their intentions clear from the start when, having won the toss, they opted to field and immediately dismissed the first three Guernsey batters before any could get to first base.However, Jersey failed to capitalise with the bat, as with runners in scoring position, a timely double play from Guernsey’s Paul Vaudin, at third, closed the innings with no score apiece.In the second innings, it came as no surprise that Guernsey’s batting strength in their middle order started the run scoring, including a massive hit to left field by Mark Rihoy.

After conceding four runs at the start of the second innings, Jersey rallied to dismiss Guernsey’s last three batters without any of them reaching first.In reply after a tentative start which saw two quick and cheap ‘outs’, Jersey responded in style, as a triple base hit to deep left field from Lynette Le Gresley began the run chase in earnest.By the time Jersey captain Ramon ‘Razor’ Alexander sent the ball sailing into the Beau Séjour concourse for a gigantic home run, Guernsey were rattled, and the large home crowd became silent.The third innings saw Jersey continue to inflict more pain on their Guernsey opponents.

After shutting them out for no runs – but having put themselves under pressure as their first two batters were quickly dismissed – Jersey lashed out.Home runs by Ronnie Jubb and Marcus Le Cornu and a triple by Jon Webster all brought base runners in allowing the runs to pile up.

By the time that shell-shocked Guernsey eventually closed the innings, Jersey had batted themselves to an impressive 19-4 lead.After that the game was all but over, and although Guernsey picked up a further five runs in the fourth innings and another three in the sixth, there was no panic in the field as Jersey turned the screw.Then, when it was their turn to bat, Jersey kept ahead of the opposition with home runs, again, from Alexander, another one from Jon Webster plus a triple from Greg Ardanowski.A dejected Guernsey had nothing left to offer as Jersey wrapped up victory in the seventh innings.

The 27-13 scoreline was even more impressive, for when Guernsey trooped off, Jersey still had an extra batting innings in hand.Afterwards manager Graeme Ferguson said: ‘All of the team were all outstanding.

The batting was awesome.

It is sometimes easy to forget the single base hits and just recognise the big hitters, but in this case we batted as a team, which is the most pleasing aspect.

‘In the field, everyone worked for each other and showed great resolve.

It was a marvellous team performance and while it seems unfair to single out any individual for credit, our pitcher, Greg Ardanowski, who controlled the pace of the game very much to our liking, was magnificent.

‘Le Gresley was outstanding at first base, as was Helen Le Cornu at second.

But then I could go through the whole team and praise each and every one of them – they made me extremely proud.’Meanwhile, in the B-team game, Jersey started the stronger as they took a 3-1 lead following Phil Bouchard’s home run, which brought home the two lead runners.Inexplicably, however, they couldn’t sustain any momentum with the bat in the next five innings despite having runners in potential scoring positions.Guernsey duly took advantage as Jason Smith powered two home runs and his team scored consistently in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.Trailing 16-7 going into the seventh and last innings, Jersey started to hit again.

A home run to right field by John Rive brought home a couple of runs and when the Guernsey pitcher had ‘walked’ a few more runs in, Jersey started to regain hope.However, it was too little too late, and the Guernsey B-team duly took the trophy, 16-14.A disappointed Ferguson said: ‘We lost the game in the middle innings with some naive batting, but credit to the team for their fighting spirit in the last innings.

There were some excellent fielding performances, particularly from Sam Palmieri at first base.’

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