NETBALL communities in Jersey and Guernsey are keen to increase the presence and popularity of the walking version of the game, after a first friendly between the two islands.
Walking netball is a slower, more accessible version of the traditional sport, although this did not detract from the competitive nature of the players as Jersey hosted their Sarnian counterparts for a lively match at Oakfield.
It was clear from the start that it would be a close encounter. With suspect jogging on show – taken in good humour throughout the match – Guernsey gained the upper hand in the first quarter while Jersey were slow out of the blocks. However, the home side changed their play after the first break and goal-attack Paula Every and goal-shooter Tina Duckworth – named ‘Most Valuable Player’ by Guernsey – moved and passed around the shooting circle with more confidence and accuracy.
Jersey were level at half-time and it was head-to-head for the remainder of the match, with Guernsey’s tall shooter causing problems for Jersey’s defensive unit of Debbie Collin, Claire Rouault, Carole Parkes and Shaida Asiz.
In the final few seconds of the game it was 17-17, but Guernsey snuck in one last quick effort before the final whistle, clinching the game.
Jersey Walking Netball lead Suzanne Follain said: ‘The great thing about walking netball, and with this match, is that it’s a sport to have fun, socialise and make friends and this game is testament to that. We have made new friends and look forward to a rematch, one which Jersey will want to win.’
Islanders interested in playing walking netball are invited to sessions at Oakfield Sports Centre every Sunday, from 10-11.30am. The first taster session is free.