Guernsey Press

North second-best as St Peter return to form in Jeremie final

The disappointment of losing their Jersey Premiership crown in midweek drove St Peter on to Jeremie Cup glory at the Track on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

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North captain River Marsh makes a strong challenge on Jay Newton. (Picture by Connor Rabey, 33161494)

Three goals up within the opening half-an-hour set Elliot Powell’s side on the way to victory while giving North a mountain to climb and though the chocolate-and-blues never stopped working, they did not ever look like pulling off a miraculous comeback.

Things looked ominous for Jose Alvarez’s men when they fell behind after only three minutes.

Young goalkeeper Ollie Miller had just made a decent save to deny Harrison Moon, who had been put through on goal by Seaney McColgan, but the subsequent long throw-in caused a few defensive issues for North and led to a corner from which Miller blocked Peter Vincenti’s header but Jack Griffin pounced on the rebound to lash it home from close range.

The fear was that goal could signal a long afternoon for North, but they gathered themselves and prevented any further chances for the next 20 minutes as play was largely confined to the middle third of the pitch.

However, midway through the first half, McColgan scored twice in four minutes to establish a comfortable cushion for the visitors.

Both goals were near identical as North stuck to their principles of playing out from the back but Archie Drillot was twice robbed by McColgan, who timed his rapid press perfectly while his teammates cut off all passing options.

Once he had possession, the St Peter youngster showed all the composure in the world to slot the ball into the same bottom corner, giving the exposed Miller no chance.

St Peter captain Mark Logue lifts the Jeremie Cup. (Picture by Connor Rabey, 33161537)

North needed a quick response, but while they had their fair share of possession and territory, they were unable to carve out any opportunities of note and in the last couple of minutes of the first half Miller made a couple of crucial interventions to keep the gap at three going into the interval.

There was no surprise to see North introduce Danny Hale for the second half and 10 minutes later he was heavily involved in an attack that led to big appeals for a penalty as Kieran Mahon went down under Jamie Watling’s challenge.

Referee Brent Blondel was having none of it and soon he was sending Mahon to the sin-bin for his continued protests.

While North were temporarily down to 10, they had their best chance of the match and it was the unfortunate Drillot who it fell to when Harry Gladdish misjudged the flight of a long free-kick into the area. The ball just did not sit down for the North centre-back, though, and he lifted his close-range volley over the bar.

St Peter had a couple of good chances to kill off the game on the counter-attack, but substitute Jack Hardisty hit the first one straight at Miller and then overcooked his square ball looking for Moon in a two-on-one situation.

North’s perseverance eventually reaped some reward when Keene Domaille got up from being fouled in the box to tuck away a 90th-minute penalty, but that was scant consolation and their day ended on a sour note when Jack Medhurst was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on Sam Luce in the dying seconds.

‘We’ve been in a bit of a rut the last kind of four or five weeks or so, but that felt like a bit of a kind of vintage St Peter’s performance,’ Powell said after the 3-1 victory.

‘There was a goal from a set piece, a goal from just defensive hard work, or a couple of them, and then we just kind of really ground it out.

‘Obviously disappointed to give away the penalty at the end, which might be a tad soft, to ruin the clean sheet, but I thought Harry [Gladdish] hasn’t really had anything to do in that today and that was a kind of stoic performance which has got us to where we’ve got to over the last four years. It was nice to see it again.’