A weekend of joy, relief and heartbreak

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And there was relief for Island netball when the senior side won their final two match to maintain their position in National County League Division IV – and outright glee as Jersey’s U13s and U14s both won tournaments to qualify for the national finals in Manchester this summer.

A late drop goal from Portsmouth’s Hampshire star Dan Neville denied Jersey RFC Youth a deserved victory in front of a 750 crowd in yesterday’s Hampshire U18 semi final, the holders winning 16-15, while at the same time Jersey United Banks were tasting defeat, 40-18 away to Southampton University in their first Hampshire Plate final.

On the flip side Guernsey’s noisy basketball supporters were left dumbstruck as Jersey came back from a 16-point deficit to seal a 61-60 victory with just 0.9 seconds left on the clock – Island player Duncan Prince the hero of the hour.

The Jersey U21s, however, went down 70-47.

It was also a mixed weekend for Island hockey, Jersey winning a tense senior women’s inter-insular 3-2 in Guernsey, but losing the men’s equivalent for the third year running.

Chrissie Hefford put Jersey ladies ahead midway through the first half after a cross from the right.

And Lisa Phillips made it 2-0 to the visitors early in the second half.

But Guernsey hit back with a score following a goalmouth melee and then equalised in the 60th minute.

Then came a series of sin-binnings as the tension showed.

Becky Slater and Nina Woods were sidelined along with a couple of Guernsey players.

But Jersey snatched the winner with five minutes left when Lisa Phillips went off on a mazy run and found the net from the top of the D.

Said Jersey coach Helen Wiseman: ‘It was all a bit nerve-racking, but I think we deserved it.

It was a good, hard-fought game.’ Meanwhile the ladies second team lost 6-2 and the thirds drew 3-3.

The men lost 2-1, also in Guernsey, despite Mark Dicker giving them the lead from a penalty corner after five minutes.

The Sarnians equalised before half time and Nick Chambers gave them victory eight minutes from the end.

Afterwards Jersey manager Tony Ray admitted: ‘We didn’t really play.

They were the best side on the day and deserved to win.’ Island individuals also shone over the weekend, with CI athlete Hermione Benest winning the gold medal in the standing triple jump with 7.46m, just 27 cm short of the UK record, while competing for the U13 girls in the Sportshall national finals in Birmingham.

The team finished an excellent fifth despite fielding several reserves.

On the football scene Trinity made Scottish wait a bit longer to to retain their Coca-Cola Combination championship by beating St Paul’s 2-0 on Saturday.

Hundreds of miles north the following day Jersey’s most famous football son, Graeme Le Saux, played a big part in Southampton rising out of the Premiership relegation places by supplying crosses for two goals in a 3-1 victory at Middlesbrough.

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