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It has been 32 months since Guernsey’s finest have gone stick-to-stick with their Jersey counterparts on a hockey field, but the pandemic-induced wait comes to an end tomorrow as the Reds visit Footes Lane once again.
Although there will not quite be the full array of games that usually make up a jam-packed inter-insular day, the main first-team trophies will be at stake with Guernsey defending the men’s title while Jersey will be doing likewise in the women’s match.
Both Sarnian head coaches, who are leading their troops into an inter-insular for the first time, are looking forward to the challenge.
‘As a squad, we are looking forward to getting back into a competitive match,’ said Guernsey Women’s coach Becky Hubbard.
‘While we play in the Men’s Division Two weekly, these matches are very different for us as a ladies’ side.
‘The inter-insulars have not happened for the last two years due to Covid and we are all looking forward to playing against Jersey on Saturday.
‘We have a mix of experienced Island players and some that are quite new to the fold. Looking at Jersey’s squad, it is similar for them. I think that this will make it quite an open game, which will make it great to watch.’
Lucy Waldrom will captain a Guernsey squad that includes many familiar faces as well as a couple of newer members such as Alex Bevis and young Mali Smith.
‘I am confident with how we have been playing in the men’s league this season and last season, we have produced some excellent results,’ Hubbard said.
‘We work together well and play cohesively as a unit.
‘We have altered our formation slightly from previous years and I think that this has added an extra dimension to our game.’
🚨 HOCKEY LIVE STREAM 🚨@GuernseyHockey host @Jersey_Hockey on Saturday as they meet for the first time in more than two-and-a-half years 🙌— Guernsey Press Sport (@GsyPressSport) November 18, 2021
Watch both senior inter-insulars LIVE via our Facebook page 🏑
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Zak Damarell will captain the Guernsey Men’s team, who are without the man who lifted the trophy the last time it was contested, Adie Peacegood, who is off-island.
However, they have been able to add quality players in Damarell, Andrew Dawson-Ball and Steve Waldrom to the side who faced Oxted in the EH Tier Two Championship a fortnight ago while Jake Le Marchant returns in goal.
‘Apart from the defeat against Oxted this month, we haven’t played together in two years,’ said coach Good.
‘That was a good game leading into this – obviously, had we won it would have been perfect, but otherwise it was still pretty good. We were pleased to have that game, it was a high-quality game as well.
‘[We learnt from that game that] we need to be better in possession, give the ball away less, but otherwise in terms of the intensity we played the game at we were more than a match for Oxted and we need to replicate that against Jersey.’
He added that Jersey will be strong and arrive with a ‘good pedigree’.
‘I’m expecting a really tough game – it’s an inter-insular, so you can never expect it to be easy.
‘However, if we play anywhere near where we can play like we did against Oxted, we will give them a good game for sure.
‘It is nice to have home advantage and we’re hoping for a good crowd.’
Jersey’s player-coach Peter Millar revealed that the prospect of playing Guernsey again has seen numbers at training increase as well as the intensity.
‘There’s a whole new generation that want to be involved in games like this,’ he said.
‘Because of the break, people know what they have missed. It’s been a good build up.’
He also echoed Good’s views that it will be a highly-competitive match.
‘It’s a difficult but enjoyable game. For us we are just looking forward to the challenge,’ he said.
Tomorrow’s inter-insular schedule
9am – U16 Girls; 10.30am – Women; 12noon – Men; 1.30pm – U16 Boys.
Guernsey: Genevieve Swainston (GK), Mali Smith (c), Minnie Swaisland, Charlotte Griggs, Summer Chamberlain, Frankie Savident, Chloe Guille, Isabelle Lowe, Bea Rowe, Georgia Pollock, Amelie Le Prevost, Eleanor Whittaker, Sophia Robillard.
Jersey: Analise Merritt, Ava Le Cornu, Chloe Cutting, Emily Copp, Daisy Carpenter, Emily Le Gros, Grace Wetherall, Izzy Byrom, Lexie Swain (GK), Lottie James, Lucy Brandie, Olive Smith, Olivia Labesse, Phoebe Gorman.
Guernsey: Emma Atkinson (GK), Lucy Waldrom (c), Gemma Underwood, Kelley Cameron, Holly Stubbert-Malley, Laura Webber, Caryn Rieger Vorster, Tasha Symes, Megan Stewart, Lucy Slimm, Alex Bevis, Becky McAllister, Mali Smith, Katherine Bushell, Laura Cashin.
Jersey: Harriet Neal (GK), Harley Cadoret, Chloe Lagadu, Gemma Minty, Emily Sabin, Kerry Rogers, Jamey Henderson, Hannah Scriven, Izzy Heelis, Chrissie Helmholt-Kneisel, Chelsea Dollar, Effie Bowley, Lucinda Gouveia, Natacha Kay.
Guernsey: Jake Le Marchant (GK), Alex Bushell, Tom Still, Jonny Clark, Will Dawe, Zak Damarell (c), Steve Waldrom, Josh Kendal, Andy Whalley, Matt Stokes, Andy Dawson-Ball, Will Thompson, Steve Eulenkamp, Ant Stokes, Jack Smart, Alex Setters.
Jersey: Pete Millar, Tom Millar, Tom Heelis, Alex Noel (GK), Tom Sibley, Anthony Hawkins-Kay, Stephen Le Maistre, Joel Dudley, Tom Bolton, Ned Crosby, Sam Dunstan, Phil Cuming, Sam Watling, Will Hodgson.
Guernsey: Tom Judd (GK), Max Culverwell (c), Toby Smith, Alfie Mahy, Josh Noyon, Hugo Le Clerc, George Le Roux, Harry Ruddy, Cameron Rivers-Moore, Ewan Wakeham, James Northgrave, Will Stewart, Max Bisson, Charlie Pedersen, Jack Becker.
Jersey: Sam Watling, Ben Heelis, Tyler McGlinchey (GK), Eddie Rothwell, Jack Stevens, Will Hodgson, Archie Scate (GK), Samuel Reynolds, Louis Kelly, Edo van Eijden, Merrion Carter, Matt Webb, Conor O’Keeffe, Theo Pirouet, Billy Martin-Davis.