Guernsey Press

Guernsey’s men make it an inter-insular ‘three-peat’

Terrific teamwork made the difference as the Guernsey men’s A team made it three inter-insular victories on the bounce.

(Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 33090684)

The host island’s top men overcame their Jersey counterparts 3-0 in Friday evening’s headline clash at Beau Sejour and, though the Caesareans offered moments of great resistance, it took no sleuth to see which squad has been dominating the Hampshire League in the last two years.

The repeat Hampshire champions had operated as one slick unit throughout, impressively organised on attack and defence while easily able to cover for the rare hiccup at a split-second’s notice.

Guernsey showed their class from the start as they raced to an early lead in front of a rapturous crowd.

Despite Jersey clawing back sometimes with the odd scoring run, the home side took the set 25-17.

The Sarnians were at their very best for much of the second set, scoring 13 points for two in the middle as they dominated the court and presented an impenetrable defence that the Caesareans could not get a shot past.

Guernsey ended up winning the set 25-14 after temporarily letting their opponents back in near the end.

They then repeated that scoreline in the third set and erupted into celebration of a successful title defence.

Captain and MVP Robbie Le Messurier was ‘so happy’ after backing up similar 3-0 victories in 2022 and 2023.

‘I am so pleased, and to do it with this group of guys is the best thing,’ he said.

‘We give up all our free time to do this and we love to be on court together.’

Jersey had plenty of strong individuals – including setter Chris De Rue – but Le Messurier praised Guernsey for playing as a team and having a ‘really strong squad’ in general.

Although the captain had been handed the player honours, he was quite reluctant to take the credit.

‘I’m actually really embarrassed about being MVP.

‘As someone who plays volleyball a lot, I don’t think I was. Our setter Jack [Robilliard] was unbelievable – when I scored, he was getting it into my hands every time.’

Harry Barrett-Giles’ thunderous serves and spikes, plus Callum Hockey’s performance as opposite hitter, also stood out from a Sarnian perspective.

But it was not an easy task to single out performers from this encouraging and still relatively young squad who have become a dominant force in county volleyball.

Guernsey underlined their men’s strength in depth the following day as the B team delivered a similarly convincing 3-0 victory.

It started with the home side, who were captained by experienced player Ashley Gordon, sailing through the opening set 25-14.

They then followed that up by winning the next two with repeated 25-18 scorelines.

Teenage setter Tahmid Rahman, who at just 15 contributed to Guernsey’s success in their latest Hampshire campaign, earned MVP recognition.

  • Full inter-insular coverage in Monday’s Guernsey Press.