A GRITTY, determined display of real character earned Jersey’s U19 rugby team a place in the last 16 of the National Plate by just one point yesterday.
They won the match against Rochford Hundred by 18 points to 17 before a bumper crowd at St Peter. The ne point by fourth-round tie was bursting to the seams with drama and one that was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd, despite the miserable wet weather.
Two early Stephen Phelan tries looked to have given Jersey the platform for a clear victory over Rochford Hundred, conquerors of Cambridge and Harlow, but the game Essex boys hit back hard and could well have snatched victory over a home side reduced to 14 men through a sinbinning near the end.
That they didn’t was in part due to eight points from the boot of Michael Le Bourgeois – and every last one of the Jersey squad putting their body on the line. Oh, and an inexplicable choice of the visitors’ to take a tap penalty when they, trailing by one point, had a straightforward kick at the posts with minutes remaining.
• Picture: Joy unbounded for Jersey as the final whistle goes with the U19s one point ahead. Picturer by Tony Pike (00622262)