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Loan link with Jersey makes sense

Inside Track | Published:

THIS whole Guernsey-Jersey thing can really be a nonsense sometimes.

Caling Jersey: It's been a tough season with ever-limiting options for Jordan Reynolds. (23784655)

Our respective geography means we are a necessary evil for them and likewise them for us.

But wouldn’t our sport be all the poorer – in fact, thoroughly miserable – if we didn’t have Jersey players and teams to take on and tease before and after the ‘match’?

Being all Channel Islanders, though, makes it wholly sensible to help each other out when we can and the revelation that Raiders could run out with a couple of Jersey Athletic props against table-topping Rams at Footes Lane today should be lauded, not criticised.

It wholly makes sense, regardless of whether the same players may be deadly rivals come Siam day.

The nature of rugby at the elevated level purely amateur Guernsey find themselves sitting at now makes it imperative to have huge depth to the squad.

Already, Raiders have done wonders to find the players they have and make it appealing to them to live on island, yet the nature of modern-day, physically crunching rugby, means that may never be enough to survive at National Two level where opponents are able to utilise the cast-offs of Championship level sides. Jersey are our nearest Championship level side, so why not?

Whether this new link extends to beyond today and the current injury crisis which bites ever deeper by the week, only time will tell. But Guernsey and Jersey rugby should not allow always-simmering Siam rivalry stand in the way of the obvious option.

n THE first Stranger Cup on 3G is making for some fine competition, even if while watching you get the feeling of what it must be like to have done time.

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Watching through a hole in the surrounding cage is not particularly user friendly, but it is the flat, green and water-free carpet in front of it that counts and the artificial surface is keeping interest in senior football alive at a period of the year when more than often the game grinds to a standstill.

We’ve seen some terrific entertainment thus far, not least that amazing comeback by Vale Rec to hit four goals in the last 15 minutes to sink the Red Lion.

That said, how on earth Vale should find themselves three down to a Lancaster Two side, only this strangely ambivalent group from the Corbet Field can tell us.

The round-robin nature and tight scheduling of 20 games in not much more than a month is being well utilised by nearly all 10 sides, none more so perhaps than the Island U18s, who have gone from disillusioned and disappointing in the autumn to fully-charged and so far rampant in the post-Christmas period.

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St Martin’s and Rovers, meanwhile, have been able to treat the competition in much the manner Liverpool and Man. City might view their FA Cup selections.

For North and their small squad one would hope that they view it is as useful match practice, if nothing else, while it is just a shame poor Alderney have to sit at home and twiddle their thumbs until their FNB Priaulx League campaign finally resumes.

William Stranger will never have imagined his beautiful trophy handed over to the GFA 115 years ago would one day be contested in such fashion, but like the old Stranger Charity Fund which for so long ran in conjunction with it, the new-look event is of great use and remains relevant.

n FINALLY, what a brilliantly apt reward that was for Rangers' mini tower-of-strength Lorraine Ellis at the Betway CI Sports awards.

I suspect that Guernsey’s oldest club would have long dissolved had it not been for the fundraising efforts and all-round energy of this remarkable woman.

Rob Batiste

By Rob Batiste
author

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