Jersey show their steel in pétanque clash

Jersey completed a superb 32-16 win over Guernsey in the annual inter-insular pétanque match on Saturday. It means that Jersey have edged ahead of their rivals in the overall standings, having now won the competition 14 times compared to their opponents 13 successes since it began in 1987.

Guernsey were the holders of the Inter Island Challenge Cup after the narrowest of victories last year at home, with the two sides having drawn and the result decided by the aggregate of the scores in each of the games. However this weekend’s event at the Jersey Petanque Club terrain at Les Quennevais was never in doubt after the two morning sessions went Jersey’s way by convincing margins.

In fact Jersey won the opening six games before the Guernsey squad finally broke their duck but they only managed to win a total of three games in the final half dozen pairings to leave the home side 9-3 ahead. However the real damage was done in the second set of 12 games with Jersey almost recording a whitewash, routing the opposition 11-one.

It meant Jersey only needed to win five games in the first after-lunch session to regain the trophy which they achieved without difficulty, sharing the spoils six each. With the match won Jersey took the foot off the accelerator but still managed to tie the final session six-all. Two Jersey pairs won all their four games: Matt Buesnel and Ross Payne plus Callum Stewart with his partner Andy Bellamy.

Jersey manager Keaven Taylor said team’s performance had been outstanding, but he didn’t feel it was the home advantage that had made the difference. “We rarely use the two pitches we played on but we got to grips with them sooner than our opponents. The other factor was that as a team we gelled together much better than we had in previous years.”