Academy U17s claim impressive scalp

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Their second annual match against Gosport and Fareham, who reached the last eight of the national cup following their county triumph last season, was earned with a gritty and skilful performance.

The Jersey side featured two permitted over-age players and a raft of U16s, who will now face Guernsey in their various age groups with added confidence next weekend.

The result, though never clear cut until the closing minutes, was well deserved with many of the side putting in outstanding performances, none more so than captain Carl Gavey at flanker and stand-off Graham Dias.

Dias put Jersey 3-0 ahead with a central 28m penalty after 20 minutes in which Gosport had probably had a slight edge, mainly due to their domination of the line-out.

But Gosport roared back to take the lead with a try by winger Matt Whitney in the left-hand corner following a rare missed tackle on the fringes of a ruck.

Good tactical kicking led to heavy pressure with Jersey claiming a forwards’ try that was unseen by the referee.

Justice was not long in coming, however, as the five-metre scrum that resulted ended with No 8 David Felton picking-up and powering over to give Jersey an 8-5 half-time lead.

Dias missed a routine penalty to extend the lead after 43 minutes, but more than made up for that with a weaving run from the Gosport 22 to set centre Dan Lezala up to drop over the line.

Dias added an excellent conversion, to put Jersey 15-5 up.

With King and Felton off injured the match was far from won, but ironically a rare expansive move by the home backs gave Jersey a big boost, winger Luc Le Sueur showing his power and speed when intercepting on the half-way line and touching down by the posts.

Dias put Jersey 22-5 ahead with the conversion, but hopes of a runaway victory were put on hold when Keiran McRoberts scored for Gosport in the left-hand corner.

Youth captain Gavey ended all remaining doubts about the Moore Management youngsters winning when he charged down a clearance to collect and power over minutes from the final whistle.

An excellent match played in a wonderful spirit ended with both teams receiving commemorative medals and match sponsor Nick Durbano handing the trophy over to a jubilant Jersey.

Dias and Gosport’s Liam Perkins won man of the match trophies.

Jersey squad: Craig Watts, Myles Landick, Ollie Montgomery, Luke Fisher, David Felton (vice-capt), Alex Whitehead, Daniel Riby, Ryan Bisson, Sam Marks, Harry Bertram, Graham Dias, Stephen Phelan, Tom Faulkner, Alex King, Luc Le Sueur, Daniel Lezala, Mark Livesey, Craig McEwan, Sam Carter, Carl Gavey (capt), Chris Pople, Tom Le Sauter and Alistair Dickson.

Coaches: Bob Shambrook, Mick Mayo.

Manager: Mark Fisher.

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