Guernsey Press

Guernsey delighted to welcome old enemy

GUERNSEY’S top basketballers finally have an inter-insular to target.

Guernsey men's captain Aaron Walden up against a Jersey opponent the last time the inter-insulars took place at Beau Sejour in 2019. (Picture by Jason Friend, 31690621)

And it will be yet another spectacle on home soil. Beau Sejour will host a series of matches on Saturday 13 May, just under two months before the start of the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games.

The last inter-insular took place before Gibraltar 2019, with the Covid pandemic and its aftermath leaving off-island targets sorely lacking for domestic players. The sole exception was a standalone U17 inter-insular last summer.

It is for that reason that Guernsey Basketball Association president Pete Beausire is even more enthusiastic for the return of the inter-insular.

‘It’s usually the highlight of our calendar to be able to play against Jersey,’ he said.

‘From our perspective, all the senior island squad for the men and women is gearing towards the Island Games.

‘The fact is we did not think we would be able to hold an inter-insular leading up to that, especially with Jersey’s men pulling out of the Island Games.

‘The fact that they have been able to get a squad together is great news.

‘It will be nice to see them, because we have not seen them for four years. We have got the rivalry, but we have got a lot of friendships as well and I am sure there will be a good party with them afterwards.’

It is a rivalry that Guernsey has typically got the best of, particularly in the women’s game – which they have not lost since 1999.

The Sarnians’ dominance has gone cross-category in recent years, including winning every available honour (U17s, U21s, women and men) in the 2018 and 2019 editions. Guernsey also won last year’s U17 inter-insular convincingly.

This gives the Sarnians an impeccable record to maintain over the four-match series, which starts at 10am with the U17s and progresses to U21s, women and then the men.