Hosts come out on top

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Our near neighbours have been excellent hosts and have run a splendid Games.

Bar the infamous Rhodes football match – and that was hardly their fault – and concerns over cyclists’ safety in an early event, there has been little but praise coming the island’s way.Team Jersey, too, have excelled themselves over the past six days, perhaps guilty only of heading the table for so long that expectations grew higher and higher.

The final day was Guernsey’s, big time, but when Jersey’s exceedingly young team dock into St Helier later today they can expect and deserve a rousing welcome – and begin looking forward to even more success in future events.The final day began with the two big Channel Islands going head to head, but with athletics and badminton on the early programme it was no real surprise that the Sarnians pulled sharply away.Golds continued to come Jersey’s way, with Ben Frith gaining two in the gym and Jeremy Cross, despite losing his Games singles tennis title in the morning, later joining Jonathan Pankhurst for doubles glory.

The pistol shooters kept up their proud record by securing their first gold on the final day, Mick Radcliffe winning the black powder discipline as well as the team event with Bob Blake.Both Jersey’s football teams return with bronze medals, the ladies beating the host island once again, while our cyclists again provided a great silver in the final event of a great week.But without our superb swimmers in action – every one of the 18 strong-squad returns with a gold medal – Guernsey pulled well away, finishing with 55 gold, 35 silver and 37 bronze (total 127) against our still impressive 37 gold, 43 silver and 35 bronze (115) total.

At the other end of the scale tiny Sark won two silvers, warmly applauded by the Island Games family.The Channel Islands, not just Guernsey, have a lot to be justifiably proud of.

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