Young Island hockey players enjoy their travels with four wins

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JERSEY HOCKEY could not have wished for more from their trip to neighbouring Guernsey.

The Caesareans sent over four teams of girls and boys at the under-14 and U16 levels and returned with a memorable clean sweep of their Sarnian counterparts.

Jersey’s U16 Girls side enjoyed a comfortable 7-1 victory, which could have been more had it not been for the work of the Guernsey goalkeeper.

Once Jersey had settled into the game they played lovely passing hockey, which the opposition struggled to contain, leading to some quick goals.

Guernsey threatened on the break but were closed down confidently by the Jersey defence, who ably supported a young goalkeeper playing up an age group at short notice.

Jersey confidently dictated possession for the bulk of a match they were always on top of.

On the scoresheet for the Caesareans was Melinda Douglas (2), Grace Wetherall (2), Olive Smith, Isla Smith and Mabel Kelly.

Jersey’s player of the match was Wetherall.

The U16 boys’ match proved far tighter between the old foes, but again the cheers came from the Caesareans claiming a 3-1 win.

If anything, Guernsey started the brighter, before Jersey settled into matters as the game grew on.

The Reds began to dominate the midfield, leading to opportunities to take the lead, while any Sarnian efforts were snuffed out by a solid visiting defence.

The hosts held firm, however, and took the lead against the run of play, following a momentary lapse in concentration.

Jersey kept their heads up and got their reward when Conor O’Keeffe drove into the Guernsey circle and found the net.

With the scores tied at half-time, it was the visitors who continued to assert, but some terrific Guernsey goalkeeping kept the scores level.

Midway through the second period, it was O’Keeffe again who found the target from a short corner.

The Greens tried their best to fight back, but Jersey held firm and put the game beyond doubt with five minutes to go through debutant Rory Baines.

Barney Aston was named Jersey’s player of the match.

An even tighter match ensued between the U14 girls, but again Jersey came out on top 2-1.

Both sides started nervously, before the visitors bagged the opening goal of the contest with a penalty corner routine straight off the training ground.

Anais McDermott slotted home after some slick work from Grace Thomson.

Guernsey would hit back, however, after finding their feet after going a goal down.

A rushed free hit was pounced on and subsequently converted by the hosts.

With the sides deadlocked at the end of the half, the Greens came out fighting, but the Jersey midfield tandem of Thompson and McDermott showed their prowess as it was the former who grabbed the winning goal and in turn the player of the match.

It was a hard-fought affair, but the Caesareans proved superior in passing and possession to see them become deserved victors.

For the Jersey U14 boys, the 4-1 scoreline was slightly misleading, but for many it was sweet revenge for the loss in last year’s contest.

Jersey began the brighter of the two, which led to several opportunities to score.

The visitors could not find a way through and it was Guernsey who punished them to take the lead midway through the first half, by way of some fine passing through the Jersey midfield.

The visitors hit back immediately, with a brilliant solo run and finish from captain and player of the match Ed Hodgson.

Before they knew it, Jersey had the lead going into the break, as Judah Shellswell found Jake Le Boutillier, who duly finished neatly under the keeper from close range.

The momentum continued in the second-half and, following some frustrating misses in front of goal, Shellswell bagged a goal of his own to go with his earlier assist.

Despite the scoreline, Jersey were never fully comfortable as Guernsey had chances of their own to get a foothold in the contest,

The Reds left it late to put the icing on the cake as Hodgson’s deflected shot from a short corner found its way in with the last play of the game.

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