Big volleyball plans get spiked – for now

THE temporary suspension of the air bridge has spiked and slam-dunked two of the big Halloween weekend sporting plans.

Spiked: Volleyball's inter-insular with a significant difference – against Isle of Man instead of Jersey – will now not go ahead next weekend.
(Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 28833166)
Spiked: Volleyball's inter-insular with a significant difference – against Isle of Man instead of Jersey – will now not go ahead next weekend. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 28833166)

Following the discovery of a local cluster of Covid-19 cases, the States of Guernsey announced yesterday lunchtime that the Isle of Man had chosen to temporarily drop the popular link.

This means the volleyball, basketball and also rugby fixtures planned for next weekend must now be rearranged.

One big loss is a volleyball ‘inter-insular’ and ‘Uptons’ double with a difference – a series of seven games against the northern isle at Beau Sejour.

Action was due to start on Friday evening with ‘Uptons’ pitting men’s club winners Plough Inn and top ladies Nashcopy Revival against the Isle of Man, followed by mixed champions Unite the Union and four Guernsey representative sides playing the next day.

Guernsey Volleyball treasurer Dave Bartram is among the many left disappointed, although he respects the decision.

‘The whole volleyball community were very much looking forward to having some off-island competitive games to play, and it was the same teams as the inter-insular,’ Bartram said.

‘Everyone is immensely disappointed but we all appreciate it is the right decision to keep us all safe.

‘Nothing can be done until the air bridge is back and then we hope to put it back on, as long as the times are suitable.’

At that same venue, a contingent of Guernsey women’s basketball players were anticipating a couple of matches against Manx visitors.

Coach Patrick Ogier may yet use the date for local friendlies, but the prospect of a big inter-island clash is on hold for now.

‘I’m absolutely gutted, and I’ve had a steady stream of WhatsApp messages from the girls saying “Does this mean it’s cancelled?”, and yes, it looks that way,’ he said.

‘Disappointing, but understandable, obviously.’

The Guernsey Raiders Ladies have lost out on their opportunity to test the Vagabonds on home soil.

Last month, Vagabonds romped to a 74-24 victory in the Isle of Man and this return fixture was due to take place at Footes Lane on the Saturday.

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