Guernsey Press

Relentless Greens keep their foot to the floor

The tag of red-hot favourites did not prove a burden to Guernsey in the Junior Inter-Insular.

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Thomas Chamberlain finds another fairway in a dominant display in the singles. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 32489606)

In fact, they embraced it and rose to the challenge with a maturity and skill that emphasised what a talented bunch of under-18s are rising through the ranks of local golf as they completed a 13.5-1.5 victory at L'Ancresse over the weekend.

'We know we’ve got an incredibly hard-working group, I think the thing that defines them for me is their work ethic, it’s absolutely phenomenal, and you then tally that with their togetherness,' said team manager Andre Austin.

‘We’ve done a lot of work with different coaches with them, and bearing in mind we have got some really experienced players, the buy-in has been universal and their willingness to help each other as teammates. All that combination of factors came together – plus the fact we know we’ve got some gun players.

'What we’re particularly pleased about this weekend is that we knew our biggest danger to guard against was complacency.

'The message was "respect the ability of the opposition" because I know that on paper we’re a lot stronger [in terms of handicaps], but we knew that Jersey would come at us and they’ve got some great players.

'It’s probably unusual for Guernsey teams to go out and be overwhelming favourites, that brings a pressure in itself, but we’re talking about ages from 13 up to 18. So I think the way they took on the information when we briefed them and the way they executed, we couldn’t have asked for any more.'

Guernsey were clinical in the opening fourballs as they whitewashed the opposition with none of the rubbers going past the 15th hole.

'On Saturday some of the statistics were phenomenal,' Austin said.

'We had five players under par on their own ball, two players were four under par.

'I don’t care whether you are playing men’s golf or junior golf, you’re going to find it hard to compete with that.'

Jersey started brightly in the early morning Sunday singles, but soon green was dominating the figurative scoreboard once again.

The hosts ended up winning eight of the 10 rubbers and halving another.

'We knew Jersey would coming out firing this morning – they were hitting us with birdies and a lot of them got off to fast starts, which shows the maturity of our group that they can calm down, settle down, and just play their own golf,' said Austin after the singles.

'This is the nicest bunch of kids you’ll meet, but they are utter ruthless on the golf course. Even today when we’ve got the game won, the message was keep your foot down. It was relentless and they do not like losing. They don’t like losing at chess or tiddlywinks – it doesn’t mean you can’t be nice guys, but when they are out there and they’re focused, that’s it, it’s all about winning golf matches.

‘I think we had one stat that Conor McKenna lost his first hole in inter-insular golf this weekend. That kind of sums up the drive.

‘I was really pleased with how everyone stepped up. We had a couple of guys [on Saturday] who had difficult days, comparatively because you’ve got to put things into context, but the way they came back … Noah Davy taking out the CI junior finalist in an absolute humdinger of a game tells you all you need to know about him.

‘I’m blown away. I’m not kind of shocked, but I probably wasn’t expecting the distance in how far we won.

‘I don’t want to do a disservice to Jersey because they were very good, but when they were making birdies, we were making eagles.

'On paper we were the better team, but more importantly we executed when we had to.'