We lost both the A and B team matches last year, but this year we were totally dominant,’ said coach Linda Andrews afterwards.
‘To see so many youngsters in our squad looking so composed; this was the best; our win was totally deserved.’ Surprisingly, Guernsey team manager, Gill Quéripel agreed with Andrews’ sentiments.
‘Jersey have shown us that we’ve got to learn to tighten up our game.
At times their shooters were awesome! It wasn’t to be this time, but it isn’t all negative.
We’re at the same stage as Jersey were last year, with a new, young team, who will get better and better, as Jersey have done, over the next 12 months.
‘Jersey showed that they are well coached, but these games seem to go in cycles.
Fair play to them, but we’ll be back.’ Andrews, almost tongue-tied from a full day of coaching, cheering, team talks and urging all of her players on, was right to be upbeat about a Jersey win which began in defence and was finished with clinical aplomb by goal-shooter Laura Beeston and goal-attack Sophie Holmes.
The way that they linked with their centres, and the way that they hardly missed a goal, was phenomenal.
For example, leading 11-5 at the end of the first quarter, they went 15-6 in front in the first five minutes of the second during which time Guernsey missed three scores from under the net, while Jersey scored three times with unerring accuracy.
For most of the match they were unstoppable, and in front of a 200-plus crowd they eased their way 27-12 in front at the end of the second quarter and, despite allowing Guernsey to net 11 times, to only three scores of their own with just ten minutes to go, by then the game was as good as over.
The Jersey side’s athleticism, from the defence of Serena Guthrie and Laura Devine, through to dominance at centre – where Abbie Hazley was outstanding – and wing-attack was compounded by a terrific understanding up front by Beeston and Holmes.
To their credit Guernsey kept trying to come back into the match, through their player of the tournament, centre Zola Bourgaise, and goal-attack Kerry Brown.
But Jersey are a class act whose inter-play was so good at times that both Jersey AND Guernsey supporters united in spontaneous applause.
While the Jersey netball A-team won comfortably, with coach Linda Andrews, towards the end, being able to chop and change, knowing that the inter-insular was already sewn up with 15 minutes remaining, the other inter-insular games on Saturday saw the B-team win 60-33 in a one-sided match which turned into the equivalent of a netballing rout.
Despite losing influential former A-team player and England triallist Mary Blampied after just four minutes with an ankle injury, the home side powered to 44-20 in the third quarter and, after that, never looked back.
In even more clinical fashion the under-18s won their inter-insular match 50-16.
‘It was pure class from start to finish,’ said coach Linda Andrews, afterwards.
‘We were so dominant, that for the first time in years I was able to give every member of the squad a game.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, played well.’ At the other end of the age spectrum, the over-35s also won, albeit by a tighter scoreline, 46-32, while the only sour note on Saturday was the under-12s’ 22-17 defeat in a low-scoring game.
‘The team are better than this, and never played to their potential,’ said coach Jackie Norman.
‘I think that they were slightly over-awed by the occasion, although Guernsey set a good standard, and shot really well.
At this age it’s all a learning-curve.
I was pleased that the players kept on working for each other, and they can only use this experience for our next big tournament, in Essex, on 29 April.’ The U13s won their match with some ease, 32-8, with Guernsey only scoring in the last quarter.
Coach Lisa Bowman was delighted with the team: ‘I played everyone in the squad, and they all gave 100 per cent and played brilliantly.
They played for each other, which is fantastic at their level and they thoroughly deserved their win.’ Jersey’s domination continued on Sunday, when the U14s doubled Guernsey’s score, by winning 62-31, while the U15s side also won comfortably, 53-32.
‘The team started slowly and, at the end of the first quarter there were only a couple of goal in it,’ said U14 coach, Carol Mckeon.
‘However, we made a few tactical changes and, following some outstanding shooting by Emma Carré and Jenna Murphy we built up a 14-goal lead.
After that, the whole squad played with confidence and they went on for a deserved win.’ The U15s weren’t able to double their score against the Sarnians, who came back strongly in the third quarter, but hard work by a resolute side and fine shooting again, with Fabienne Pigeon dominating in the D, took them to a comfortable win.
‘This was a tight game,’ said coach Ali Talbot, ‘but once Guernsey came back into it, the team all began to work that little bit harder.
The team also has its fair share of very skilful players.’