Guernsey Press

A trio of debutants as Guernsey defend trophy

GUERNSEY will head across the water this weekend aiming to back up last year’s monumental tennis inter-insular victory.

Victorious 2021 Tennis Inter-insular team. Back row, left to right: Rob West, Nico Robinson, Pete Robinson, Jo Dyer, Olly Cull. Front row: Nat Le Cras, Lauren Barker, Lauren Watson-Steele, Lauren Coutanche. (31453321)

Jersey had won the annual Bucktrout Trophy contest every year since 2007, but when it headed to Sarnian soil last autumn after heavy Covid disruption, the hosts shocked with a 9-3 victory and also achieved a clean sweep of the doubles events.

Plenty of debuting players featured in last year’s competition and that will be repeated on Sunday, when Guernsey send three inter-insular newbies – Marcus Thomas, Ben Wentzel and Imogen Wegerer – to the Caesarean Tennis Club as part of their eight-strong team.

The team is headed up by experienced players like Rob West, who will captain the team and is hopeful of a title defence.

‘We are excited to play the annual fixture against Jersey,’ West said.

‘Last year saw us win the trophy for the first time since 2007 and we are keen to get a win streak like that going for ourselves.

‘The fixture is always very competitive and played in great spirits. We are confident that we can retain the trophy in 2022.

‘We have three debutants for us this year who have all been training hard and playing well, with some fine results in the local events this year. They each fully deserve their place in the side and it will be great for them to step up into this competition.’

Jersey will be determined to address last year’s shock defeat, which their non-playing captain Andy Evans had nevertheless seen as a shot in the arm for the competition.

‘I think for us and for tennis on both islands, it can only be positive,’ he said.

‘When you’re on a winning streak, sometimes you need a bit of a kick up the backside to say, “That’s the way it is at the moment and we need to do a little bit better”.’

The event will double up as a nice warm-up for the Winter County Cup events in the UK, where many of the players will be competing.

The Channel Islands men will be in Taunton and the women in Cardiff from 25-27 November.

Guernsey tennis team

Rob West, Nico Robinson, Marcus Thomas, Ben Wentzel, Lauren Watson-Steele, Jo Dyer, Lauren Barker, Imogen Wegerer.