Jersey’s victory, their fifth Muratti in succession and the first as top man for coach Kevin Miller, was not, however, an impressive one, although perhaps just about deserved.
The Island’s outstanding captain, the powerful Nina Woods, scored the game’s only goal from just outside of the box on the right, with an effort that was clearly intended as a cross to the far post.
The ball sailed over Emma Atkinson to nestle in the Guernsey net in the 21st minute.
The goal was entirely against the run of play and did nothing to stop Guernsey having much the better of the first half.
Jersey had started the match as red-hot favourites but took a long time to produce anything like their best form.
‘I’m not at all happy with the performance,’ said Miller after Woods had picked up the Inter-Insular Trophy and the player of the match award.
‘Credit Guernsey, they closed us down well.
But we never really got going and never kept possession well.
We simply haven’t performed today, but a win is a win .
‘ ‘Guernsey certainly gave us a run for our money today, particularly in the first half, but for all their good play they rarely created clear-cut chances apart from one right at the end.
Our keeper Krystle Matthews hardly had a shot to save in the second half.’ Miller changed his line-up slightly at the start of the second half and it produced a much improved performance and helped warm a crowd of around 450.
The coach brought on striker Kathryn Porter with instructions for the ball to be played forward into channels to make use of her pace and so turn the Sarnian defence – a tactic that worked, but not nearly as well as the swapping over of the wing-backs, Michelle Bichard and Lauren Jéhan, did.
Guernsey’s main threat had come from a talented trio of players on the left, diminutive winger Katie Robert, sharp-tackling midfielder Rochelle Vaudin and striker Natalie Grainger.
Some of their play in the first-half had a real touch of quality – quality that shone out brightly in a dire opening 45 minutes.
‘We improved on both the left and right flanks in the second half,’ said Miller, ‘both defensively and in going forward – Michelle quietened down their No 11, while Lauren impressed going forward on the left.’ Krystle Matthews played well in the Jersey goal, smothering danger with a combination of good positioning and quick reactions when Guernsey threatened, usually through Grainger, or Vaudin’s well placed corner kicks.
Come half time and only Woods’ cross-cum-shot and a smothered effort from Suzanne Rosser had seriously threatened the Guernsey goal.
Jersey reversed matters in the second half and had nine attempts at goal, of varying quality, to two or three for Guernsey.
The best of the Sarnians’ chances came right at the start of the half and just before the final whistle; Grainger firing straight at Matthews when clean through in the first instance and substitute Catherine Hennessy heading over a golden chance from Grainger’s cross at the death.
Inbetween those incidents Jersey held sway, with Becky Darts showing up better in midfield to support Woods’ surging runs from the back and Porter and Rosser posing problems for a Guernsey defence that looked decidedly shaky when put under pressure.
Porter lobbed one chance just wide and hit the side-netting after some comical defending from a corner-kick.
Jehan had a great chance to seal victory but her well-struck effort from 12 metres out just cleared the far post.
Guernsey coach Darren Ogier was understandably delighted with the performance, if not the result: ‘I think we had a point to prove today – and I think we might have done just that.
We put on a display of great character and showed Jersey that it’s not going to be easy to beat us.
‘The girls played well.
We had five making their debuts and six of the team were under 18s, but we were up for it today.
We know we could have won it – and that will make us want it even more now.’ Jersey: Krystle Matthews; Nicki Warren, Michelle Bichard, Katie Ridley, Nina Woods (capt), Leanne Bell (Lisa McLaughlin 72), Lauren Jehan, Becky Darts, Suzanne Rosser, Jo Fuller (Kathryn Porter 45), Kirstin Buttle-Ulvin.
Subs: Helen Lagadu, Aisling Farrell, Louise Vandervliet, Rebecca Bichard, Tara Marie.
Coaching team: Kevin Miller, Chris Jehan, Tim Sauvage, Geoff Vandervliet, Kim Richings.
Guernsey: Emma Atkinson, Michelle Le Prevost, Sophie Warren, Jemma Bailey (capt), Vicky Rang, Becky Hart (Eleisha Gettings), Rochelle Vaudin, Eleanor Holden (Catherine Hennessy 55), Becky Warren, Natalie Grainger, Katie Robert (Corrina Le Noury).
Coach: Darren Ogier