Guernsey Press

Forces’ firepower impresses as Guernsey take positives from visit

Two women’s teams from the UK Armed Forces were quick to make an impression in their trip to play Guernsey’s representative netballers.

Guernsey’s netballers took on the Armed Forces in a series of games at Elizabeth College. (Pictures by Sophie Rabey, 33354879)

Afforded huge firepower by several Super League players and current or former internationals, the tall and athletic visiting team produced 33-14 and 31-14 victories against Guernsey’s own women in shortened 4x10min. matches at Elizabeth College on Saturday.

They even held up well against Guernsey’s men, who won the first game 20-17 but were punished with a 21-18 loss later on.

Regardless of results, these matches were a welcome opportunity in island netball’s ongoing drive to improve.

Abbie Greening took up a captaincy opportunity for her island and was actually quite pleased with their performances against such classy opposition.

‘I think we have impressed ourselves,’ she said.

‘We have got lots of positives to take away from that.

‘They are really physical but very clean with it – not dirty at all.

‘It’s good to play people that are not from here, as we get used to playing the same people.

‘To have completely different opposition with a bit of height is good as we are not the tallest team.’

From a personal perspective, the experienced shooter added: ‘I like being against someone tall – it makes me shoot high.’


Guernsey’s men coped better with the Armed Forces’ physicality and so enjoyed two close contests.

‘I think it’s great for the men’s game,’ Guernsey team manager Jason Roger said.

‘A lot of the men are pushing 40 and two or three of them are over 40.

‘We’re trying to get the youth through and there were some younger players coming through.

‘We can’t play as often as we’d like to due to family commitments, and sometimes it plays second fiddle to basketball or football.’

The men have limited league action locally, but the team – who are headed by netball stalwart Gill Queripel – are always on the lookout for new opportunities.

‘Gill’s masterplan is to push the men’s game for the betterment of the game generally,’ Roger added.

‘My daughter plays against the men and she says it’s some of the best netball she plays.’


Their appreciation of playing different opponents was reciprocated by the Armed Forces.

After a captaincy stint, the RAF’s Natalie Daly said she was ‘really pleased’ with how her team played.

‘It’s competitive games, but nice games as well.

‘We were just really keen to come back and revisit them and get that connection going with the team again.’

Neither she, nor team manager Hannah Fray, were present when the Armed Forces last visited nearly seven years ago.

Fray highlighted that the team do not regularly train together due to being split across different service branches.

This trip provided them an opportunity to train together and, with the inclusion of Sunday’s fixtures, get six total matches against a large variety of Guernsey players.

‘We don’t get many opportunities to play together as a team, so every time we do get together, it’s learning quite quickly what opposition we’re playing against,’ Fray said.

She added: ‘It was nice to come away somewhere new as well.

‘Everyone’s been super friendly and it’s been great to actually meet the people we’ve spent three months liaising with over email.’