On-the-ball Jersey cruise into the final
Alderney 0, Jersey 4 HONOUR was served in both camps following Saturday's Cherry Godfrey Muratti semi-final in Alderney and as expected it is Jersey who will face Guernsey to contest the famous vase on Monday 3 May.
Alderney 0, Jersey 4
HONOUR was served in both camps following Saturday's Cherry Godfrey Muratti semi-final in Alderney and as expected it is Jersey who will face Guernsey to contest the famous vase on Monday 3 May. Goals from Ross Crick, Chris Andrews, Chris McNabb and Dave Le Roux, two in each half, were a just reward for a well-organised and focused Jersey performance against a pumped-up and dogged Ridunian squad.
On a pitch where close control was deceptively difficult, Alderney gamely shut out Jersey for 30 minutes before the inevitable breakthough came after several close calls and missed chances.
If Alderney were aggrieved at the free kick which pre-empted the opener (they were), they could hardly quibble over the quality of the move which followed.
The impressive and fired-up Dave Brodie fed Andrews on the right with the Jersey captain's low cross being hit home across the impressive Paul Williams by striker Crick - his 39th goal of the season but his first for Jersey this term.
Other Jersey goals could have come either side of Crick's strike, but chances, from corner kicks in particular, were spurned.
Muratti debutant Lee Bradshaw and Le Roux both headed good chances past the woodwork in the opening half.
Jersey had made a positive start, but some of their players were clearly nervous with a dodgy pitch, sun in their eyes and combative opponents giving their defenders, in particular, little time to settle.
It was, however, to their great credit that they didn't shrink from the job in hand but rather grew into it, a quality recognised and demanded by a delighted Jersey manager Dave Matthews.
'Our preparation has been spot-on,' he said.
'We worked on getting the whole team out there with the correct attitude and we've been rewarded.
'Nerves played a part in the early stages, but nobody hid. Once one man starts cheating, then another one does and your in trouble. But there was none of that and no prima donnas either.'
The first goal recorded, the result appeared virtually in the bag, as the home attack carried little threat.
Almost immediately after Crick's strike a decent-looking penalty call for a trip on Andrews was rejected by Andy Priaulx, a referee who was doing his utmost to let a full-blooded encounter flow without resorting to cards. But Jersey's second was only another four minutes away and it was again prompted by Brodie.
The lively midfielder fed Andrews who broke free of his markers on the right of the box before lashing a 12-yard shot past Williams' despairing left hand.
The match, as a contest, was effectively over.
Yet, Alderney continued to make Jersey earn every bit of possession in the second half and even went close twice, although never forcing a save from Casey Hickling, another earning his first Muratti cap.
Jersey added a third just before the hour when Crick controlled well from an Andrews pass and held off the defence long enough to lay back to McNabb who thundered a 20-yarder inside Williams' left-hand post.
On 71 minutes, McNabb was looking for his second but his effort was diverted across goal by the outrushing Williams and Le Roux gained an easy tap-in from five metres, a deserved reward for his efforts.
The match was generally played in the best of spirit and all the players had earned the generous applause that came their way on the final whistle.
Alderney manager Alan Adamson said he could not have asked more from his team.
'We played our part in a good game . . . we played well and worked really hard.
'I'm not saying we would have won, but we'd have been much stronger had Concannon and Stone been available today. The first goal was the turning point and we're disappointed as we didn't think it was a free kick to Jersey moments before.'