Played at Les Quennevais in ideal conditions, the Channel Islands Championship game was built up as a ‘winner takes all’, for both sides had won their respective league and cup doubles.
In the end, however, Guernsey’s Specsaver Rookies cantered to victory, with the Jersey champions, the Wheway Wildcats II, putting up an inexplicably below par performance.The Rookies took an early 3-0 lead, which included a base clearing and indefensible home run by Mark Rihoy to right field.
In the second innings a single base hit to centre field by Russell Wynn was enough to see home the lead two runners, Clare Le Maistre and David Vasselin, and the Wildcats were off the mark.
The Rookies’ second innings, in reply, tightened their grip on the match with some powerful hitting aided by some casual fielding by the Wildcats.
Another home run, by Mark Rihoy, this time to left field, inflicted more damage and the Wildcats were struggling.Trailing 10-2 going into the third innings, the Wildcats briefly rallied with the bat as they reverted to somewhere near their usual safe base hitting game.
Clare Le Maistre’s double, clearing the outfield, brought home two runs, and aggressive running enabled another three runs to score, bringing the Wildcats back into the game although they were still trailing 10-7.However, the Wildcats brief rally was just that – brief and temporary – as the Rookies continued to score with relative ease in their next two batting innings, which saw some triple base hits from Jason Smith and Dominic Bellis and a home run by Sue de la Haye.
At 19-7 down going into the last two innings, the Wildcats knew that the game was slipping from their grasp.
And, despite shutting the Rookies out, with Jon Webster doing most of the damage with two fine catches in the outfield, the Wildcats couldn’t match their fielding prowess with the bat.In a disappointing and largely one-sided inter-insular, Specsavers Rookies went on to win 19-8, the main fault being the home side’s surprising inability to score more than eight runs over the course of the game.