Guernsey Press

Vale Rec crowned Guernsey champions for first time in 21 years

Vale Rec are Priaulx League champions for the first time in 21 years.

Rec will be aiming to make it a double in Friday’s Stranger Cup final against Rovers. (33152234)

Their sole remaining challengers for the title, neighbours Northerners, were beaten 4-1 by resurgent St Martin’s last night at Blanche Pierre Lane to give Mark Romeril’s side an unassailable lead at the top of the table.

It is the 16th time in Rec’s history that they have claimed the Priaulx Cup, the biggest prize in Guernsey football, and many of their first-team players as well as their coach were at BPL to witness their crowning moment.

‘It’s quite surreal actually ... I didn’t probably expect that tonight,’ said a smiling Romeril.

Vale Rec coach Mark Romeril watching the game. (Picture by Peter Frankland)

‘It was going to be a tough game for North obviously, but yeah, I mean it’s an unbelievable achievement for the club, it’s an unbelievable achievement for that group of players and I just couldn’t be more proud of them. It’s absolutely amazing for everyone.’

It looked as though North were going to make their neighbours wait for at least another week to seal the title when a fine Keene Domaille finish gave them the lead against Saints midway through the first half, but the hosts were level by half-time after Alex Roussel timed his run perfectly to turn home Rio Bowditch’s diagonal ball to the far post.

North started the second half brightly, but on the hour mark they found themselves behind as Cal Le Lacheur slotted home when the ball broke to him on the edge of the area.

He scored his second just three minutes later on a clinical counter-attack and Alex Ward completed the scoring 14 minutes from time with a pinpoint shot into the bottom corner, leaving both Saints and Vale Rec very happy.

Alex Ward was the scorer of the final goal in St Martin's 4-1 win over North last night. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 33149499)

‘The foundations were done last year,’ said Romeril of the key to his Rec side’s success.

‘I remember speaking to them in March last year when we won the Stranger and saying to them, “I felt you were the best team in the island”, which was a big statement at that time, but [it was because of] the way we just come off the back of five games against the so-called top three and they didn’t really look back from then.

‘So they did the hard work last year and then they made statement wins early in the season and that really set the tone for it.’

Rec could make it a double this week as they face Rovers in the Stranger Cup final on Friday at BPL, where they will also play the Upton next month.

Bels and Rangers drew 1-1 last night at the Track.