Guernsey regain inter-island athletics trophy

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In front of a large and partisan crowd Jersey lost possession of the overall trophy – the third successive year the away side has triumphed – although if Saturday had belonged to Guernsey, Sunday was the day that many of Jersey’s juniors proved their worth.In the senior men’s events the pattern of day one were set when the multi-talented Sarnian Dale Garland swept to victory in the 400m hurdles in a new inter-island record of 54.0 seconds.Indeed, the only Jersey men’s individual track win all day was by junior Stephen Prosser, who started an excellent weekend’s work by blasting to victory in the 100m against Guernsey flyer Ryan de Haaf.Garland competed in six individual events, winning four of them, and also collected the athlete of the match trophy in the senior men’s category.Lee Merrien and Tom Druce, for Guernsey, were also in impressive form with the former winning the 1500m and 5000m and the latter the 800m.Nevertheless, Jersey kept in touch with their opponents by dominating the throwing events where Paul Derrien (discus and hammer), Russell Price (javelin), Scott Roberts (shot and javelin) were virtually untouchable.Elsewhere the highlights were a winning, first-ever competitive two-metre high jump by Simon Phelan and, at the end of the day, a rousing finale was provided with Matt Turner just holding on to give the home team victory in the 4x100m relay.Also in the field, in the ladies’ competition, Jersey’s Lauren Thérin was in magnificent form although it was virtually a one-woman show against an overwhelming Guernsey tide.She picked up maximum points in all four of the throws (including a meeting record in discus) before turning out in the 200m and both relays.

Surprisingly, perhaps, the athlete of the match award in this category went to Guernsey’s Sarah Hume for her record-breaking run in the 800m.She was not the only visiting lady athlete to sparkle, however, as Kimberley Goodall scored 24 individual points for her team.

Hurdling prodigy Kylie Robilliard, still too young and light in stature to take on the senior hurdles, contented herself with wins in the sprints and a second place behind Goodall in the long jump.Towards the end of the afternoon the gloom in the Jersey camp was lifted by an excellent team one-two in the 3,000m by Jo McGarry and Barbara Parker.

McGarry also out ran Hume in the 1,500m and the last of the bright spots for Jersey was an excellent all-round throwing display by Catarina Hallden, who then displayed real fighting spirit, somewhat lacking elsewhere, by taking part in a forlorn 4x400m relay.Jersey’s only other victory was by Claire Lidster in the 400m.

Guernsey’s young Erica Bodman set the scene for her day with two performances by breaking the inter-island high jump record.At under-15 level a battling display by Jersey’s boys, led by Paul Dingle and Jamie Stevenson, gave them a narrow victory.

Dingle won all three of his individual events with new meeting records in both long and triple jump, deservedly claiming athlete of the match.

Stevenson was victorious in shot and discus with a record in the latter.Rory Forrest and Simon Fernandes also scored a notable double in the 400m while the rest of the team battled away for any points they could, to squeeze out the victory.Also at under-15 level, a clean sweep of wins in the field formed the basis for the Jersey girls’ narrow win, each by a different team member.There was an excellent win at 200m for under-13 athlete Gemma Dawkins while Serena Guthrie, normally a sprinter, put in a gutsy 800m run to claim Jersey’s other win.Guernsey’s own under-13 star Kimberley Gleeson claimed three second places but athlete of the match went to Guernsey’s Gemma Mauger with her record-breaking 1500m run.

Jersey’s recent domination at under-11 level was rudely ended by the travelling Guernsey youngsters.

There were, however, wins for Jersey girls Robyn Edwards (high jump) and Lauren Barnes (long jump).

Tamlyn Priaux of the visiting team won the trophy for girls’ athlete of the match.Andrew Coleman of Guernsey must be one of the most promising young sprinters ever seen in the islands as his 8.6 sec for the 60m smashed the Island record, even though Jersey’s Sam Dawkins also provisionally broke it as he finished second in 8.9 sec.Coleman, in his age group, deservedly won athlete of the match and Guernsey’s boys won all of the individual events plus the sprint relay.On Sunday the Island’s under-17 men enjoyed an excellent victory, with many of the team having moved up an age level from the previous day’s under-15 team.They did, however, have an added ingredient in Stephen Prosser and – in the end – he made the difference.

He won all three of his events and anchored the sprint relay team to an impressive victory.

Again, he produced a big 100m performance, although his 11.1 sec time may have been wind-assisted.

Although Prosser took athlete of the match in this category, young Paul Dingle was equally impressive with three wins and a record distance in the triple jump.There was also an excellent one-two for Jersey’s Jason Fox and Peter Rothwell in the high jump; Jamie Stevenson again underlined the home island’s superiority in the throws; while Guernsey’s best performances came from Tom Druce and Mark Mercier.It was a pity that the under-17 women, who put up a spirited fight, could not emulate the boys’ performance.Instead they were too thinly stretched to prevent a comfortable Guernsey victory.

The away team delivered some great performances, notably a breathtaking 80m hurdles run from Kylie Robilliard who added wins in the 300m hurdles (both runs were meeting records) and the 100m flat.

The judges’ vote for athlete of the match, however, went to Erica Bodman who, having raised the Guernsey high jump record to 1.67m at the recent Island Games, now went one centimetre better and demolished the meeting record set by herself the day before.There were Island wins for Steph Le Cornu (long jump), Lauren Devine (shot), Rebecca Duquemin (discus) and Becky Slater (javelin).With only three individual wins at under-13 level it was the ability to grab the minor placings that gave the Island’s boys overall victory.

Ian Froome of Guernsey, with three wins, was named man of the match, but Aaron Quaeck of Jersey, with two wins and a second, pushed him hard.

Chris Mourant and Ross Jeffs overcame recent problems in training to grab an excellent one-two in the high jump.

This was, however, a team performance in every sense, crowned by a close win in the relay with the excellent Quaeck bringing home the baton for Jersey.If the boys had struggled to win their under-13 competition, for the girls victory was comparatively simple, with athlete of the match, Amy Dingle setting the standard with three wins.

Guernsey’s talented Kimberley Gleeson, with two meeting records (100m and 200m), must have been close behind Dingle in the judges’ eyes while Jersey’s Gemma Dawkins can count herself unfortunate to be a contemporary of Gleeson.

She had to settle for two second places before producing one of the runs of the meeting by reeling in Melanie Weatherburn in the 800m before producing a tremendous sprint finish in the home straight.Emma Wilton had a couple of wins in the throws and there were pleasing performances elsewhere throughout the team.

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