BOTH of Jersey’s team captains hailed the spirit of their teams after watching both the men and women put on a dominant display to win their respective Inter Island Challenge Trophies.
There was little difference in the scores, too. With the men finishing 15-5, an extra half a point swung in the women’s favour, finishing 15½-4½.
The pairings in Saturday’s foursomes and fourballs came up trumps for both teams. For the women, that may have been a little expected, having triumphed so convincingly in Guernsey’s backyard last year. The men, however, surpassed expectation, giving the perfect platform for an easy Sunday stroll in the singles.
For the most part, it wasn’t even close. Matthew Parkman and Jeremy Phillips finished 7&6 in their awesome foursome win over the Dannys Bisson and Blondel. Sam Quail and Charlie Kibert ended their match against Connor McKenna and Jayden Tucknott up by 5&3. The fourballs told a similar tale, too. Quail, partnered this time with Alex Guelpa, eased to 5&4 against the Blondel brothers Danny and Jamie. By the end of a searing hot day, only one match of the ten was given up to their guests. One hand was already on the trophy.
It was the same for the women. Hannah Scriven and Anabelle Lucas-Villar got them off to a flyer, winning their foursome match against Bonny Hamilton and Chloe Gallagher-Brackley 6&5. By the close of the day, the Caesareans were up 8-2.
With nothing left to lose in the singles, on a cooler and damp Sunday morning, the Sarnian fought tooth and nail to make Jersey work hard to find the remaining points needed to seal the men’s trophy. Tom Le Huray (2&1) and McKenna (3&2) saw off the challenges of Philips and Josh Ozard to keep the visitors’ hope of a miracle alive. But with many of the remaining singles matches swinging back in Jersey’s favour, it was only a matter of time that one of them would clinch the winning putt, and it came from Charlie Kibberd holing from three feet on the 14th. Jersey would go on to win five more of the remaining seven singles matches.
The Guernsey girls also gave it their all in the singles, with Chloe Domaile beating Louise Kirten-Read, while three other matches were tied, but it was already a hopeless cause for the visitors. After Scriven finished 5&4 to beat Mary Bate and put Jersey 10-2, Guernsey could not drop any more points and tie between Julie Frank and Di Stenner was enough to give Jersey the half-point needed for the win.
‘The team spirit in the group has been incredible,’ said an elated women’s captain Nicola Mollin. ‘We’ve got some rookies in there, we’ve got a lot of juniors, we’ve got experience. To win like we did, it’s brilliant. And all the matches were played in the right spirit as well. That’s the key thing for me. To win on our home turf as well makes it extra special.
‘There was a confidence without trying to be cocky or arrogant with it. The team is so talented and with Chloe, who’s playing for the first time in this event, she got three points. For a rookie to come in and do that, I think it’s incredible. But they’ve all played quality golf.’
The same thoughts were echoed by Chris Young, who enjoyed a winning start to the captaincy role he was given this year. He and his team wrestled the trophy back into Jersey hands after a chastening defeat to Guernsey at L’Ancresse last summer.
‘We saw some top-quality golf on display,’ he said. ‘We got off to flyer on Saturday, getting off to a 5-0 start and then capitalising in the afternoon was great. The pairings could have been criticised if that went wrong. But going into yesterday 9-1 up was just fantastic. It was a bit close for comfort in the morning, when we were we were down in quite a few games.
‘We know these Guernsey guys very well and they fight hard and they fight to the death. But La Moye has always been good to us. We’ve got a good track record here. There was a determination to the team and a good balance of youth and experience and they particularly gelled in the foursomes, which we haven’t traditionally done very well in. Going into the singles it wasn’t looking too healthy. We knew we only needed one-and-a-half points, but to win that session too was fantastic and credit to the guys for that too.’
Jersey men 15-5 Guernsey
Foursomes: Carlyon/Draisey bt Pattimore/R McKenna 1Up; Ozard/Guelpa bt Nicolle/Le Huray 3&1; Parkman/Phillips bt Bisson/D Blondel 7&6; Ramskill/Clarke bt J Blondel/Mahy 4&2; Quail/Kibberd bt C McKenna/Tucknott 5&3.
Fourballs: Ramskill/Phillips bt Bisson/Mahy 4&2; Guelpa/Quail bt D Blondel/J Blondel 5&4; Ozard/Clarke lt to C McKenna/Tucknott 1Up; Kiberd/Parkman bt Le Huray/Nicolle 2&1; Carlyon/Draisey bt Pattimore/R McKenna 4&3.
Singles: Phillips lt Le Huray 2&1; Ozard lt C McKenna 3&2; Ramskill bt Tucknott 4&3; Carlyon bt Pattimore 3&1; Parkman bt R McKenna 2&1; Guelpa bt Nicolle 2&1; Clarke lt D Blondel 5&3; Kiberd bt J Blondel 5&4; Quail lt Bisson 2Up; Draisey bt Mahy 3&2.
Jersey women 15½-4½ Guernsey
Foursomes: Scriven/Lucas-Villar bt Hamilton/Gallagher-Brackley 6&5; Hamid-Wilkinson/Langdon hd Balley/Webber; Cadoret/Frank bt Bate/Stenner 3&2; Lagadu/Kirten-Read hd Domaille/Gaudion; Harris/Buckley bt Ingrouille/Stacey-Goldberg 5&4.
Fourballs: Lucas-Villar/Langdon bt Balley/Bate 1Up; Hamid-Wilkinson/Frank bt Hamilton/Stenner 3&2; Lagadu/Kirten-Read lt Gaudion/Stacey-Goldberg 3&1; Scriven/Cadoret bt Ingrouille/Webber 6&5; Harris/Buckley bt Domaille/Gallagher-Brackley 6&5.
Singles: Lagadu bt Gallagher-Brackley 7&6; Frank hd Stenner; Hamid-Wilkson hd Gaudion; Scriven bt Bate 5&4; Lucas-Villar bt Webber 2Up; Buckley bt Balley 4&3; Kirton-Read lt Domaille 1Up; Cadoret bt Ingrouille 4&3; Harris hd Hamilton; Langdon bt Stacey-Goldberg 5&4.