Guernsey Press

‘Time to take it to Jersey teams’

VALE Rec coach Mark Romeril has called on Guernsey football to take it to Jersey teams and ‘start closing the gap’ after Saturday’s Upton Park Trophy success against St Clement.

That winning feeling. Vale Rec’s Seb Skillen scored the opening goal and then a penalty in the shoot-out which won the CI club title for the Upton Park Trophy against Jersey champions St Clement. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33202935)

The penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes went to the 10th round before Matt Ozanne clinched it for the home side. It was only the second Guernsey victory in the competition in the last 10 games played.

‘That wasn’t easy, that was tough, and I thought we might have blown it when we missed those two penalties,’ Romeril said.

‘The boys who stepped up [at the end], they kept their nerve, they hit the target.

‘We were aware of the record of Guernsey teams [in the Upton] and we wanted to do something about it. But it comes down to fine lines, fine margins.’

He said he hoped that the result would help to encourage Guernsey football to ‘turn the tide’.

‘Guernsey teams, we’ve got to start closing the gap, winning Murattis and Uptons, doing better in club competitions, that’s a collective across Guernsey football.’

Romeril was pleased that his side went toe-to-toe and largely matched the Jersey champions, who dominated the second half after an even first 45, but missed several decent chances.

‘At half-time I said “we’re in this, we can do this”. Second half we rather ran out of steam, we were picking up scraps and had to dig in, but that’s what we did.

‘But we matched them. You come into these games, and you’re not sure if you’re going to be competitive. That was my main hope for today. Then it comes down to fine margins and you’ve just got to get on the right side of them.

‘This is unreal – beyond our wildest dreams really. This season we set out, we thought we had a chance of winning the Priaulx, and that was mission accomplished. To be Channel Island champions ... well Guernsey teams don’t do that, do they?

‘It’s 36 years since this club were CI champions and there were some very good teams that tried to do that and didn’t achieve it. And these boys, I said at the start of the game, if you do this, you will be club legends.’