Rugby:Controversial try as Beeches fall to Guernsey

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Just two points behind, with two games in hand over Beeches, Guerngsey have only lost one game this season, to Jersey RFC 2nds, who are third in the table.In contrast Beeches have now lost three games and Jersey 2nds five.In front of a large Sarnian crowd, the scores were tied at 12-12 and, at the least, Beeches looked like holding out for a draw until, with three minutes remaining, Guernsey scored what Peter Stockley, Beeches’ outside half, described as ‘a disastrous try’.’Their right winger took the ball, didn’t ground it and knocked on,’ he said.

‘His hand hit the ground but the ball bounced out.

The touch judge saw it but in front of a large Guernsey crowd he didn’t say a thing.

If that had been one of our players, I would have said the same.

It wasn’t a try.’Trying to lift the guys heads in the changing room afterwards was hard.

We’d taken over a decent side, to play on a poor pitch, to lose in the last three minutes.

It was disastrous.’Before the game Stockley had told his players that this could well be the league decider, a point Rob Box had also made to his Guernsey side.Naturally delighted with the win, he said his players deserved credit for a ‘gutsy’ win in this top of the table clash which was decided by that late, controversial Ken Dixon try.’It was a very gutsy display – the guys really had to dig deep,’ Box said.’We always knew Beeches were going to be a hard side to beat because you do not get to the top of the league without being a decent side.’They had a big pack and we had a lot of players playing out of position and I also had to pull in a couple of veterans to help out.

But, in both the first and second teams, we seem to be digging deep and winning these games where we normally lost them in the past.

The team spirit is really good at the moment.’The match had started promisingly for the home side as they gained good position early on and forced a second-minute penalty, but Carl Gardner’s kick dipped underneath the crossbar.Despite the Sarnians continuing to have the territorial advantage, it was the visitors who opened the scoring.Pack player Andy Dawson made a tremendous break from halfway and got to within five metres of scoring himself before Mark Stone managed to pull him down, but Brett Ireland was on hand for Beeches to score.

Stockley missed the conversion.Guernsey were only behind for five minutes though.The green-and-white pack gradually worked their way towards the line before fly-half Chris Eyton-Jones broke through to score from ten metres.

Gardner converted to put Guernsey 7-5 ahead.Just before the break they extended their advantage to seven points with an opportunist try from Stone who touched down in the corner following a sly grubber kick through.After the turn around it continued to be an enthralling encounter despite the lack of scoring opportunities.Beeches’ determination to get back into the game was finally rewarded ten minutes from time when they created an overlap, using big centre Danny Ireland to soak up the pressure, which in turn allowed full back Ben Tipper through on the right wing to score beneath the posts.

Stockley converted to level the scores.That set up a frantic finale before Guernsey worked the ball on the blind side from a five-metre scrum, freeing Dixon who grabbed a loose ball and barged over.’It was a great result and it was good to have a big crowd down there,’ said Box.

‘Everyone wants everyone else to do well, which is fantastic.

Everyone just seemed to muck in and give support to the others.’Full round-up in today’s JEP.

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