Football: Birrell stars in Junior Muratti triumph, seniors sunk by Navy

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Jersey's U18s lifted the Junior Muratti trophy after beating Guernsey 1-0 at Springfield Picture: RON FELTON

JERSEY got their hands back on the under-18 Muratti silverware on Saturday, but it was a close call.

And while it was the players in red-and-white who were bouncing around singing at the conclusion, there were also big smiles on the faces of manager Steve Coutanche and his assistant Chad Morris at the end of their first Muratti in charge.

Jake Prince scored a 95th minute winner for the hosts, earning a 1-0 triumph over Guernsey at Springfield.

Coutanche said: ‘Obviously I’m hugely delighted with the result and I thought on the balance of play we probably just about shaded it, but Guernsey certainly put up a real fight.

‘Dan Birrell [man of the match] was outstanding in goal, just like he has been all season. He is, without doubt, the top talent in terms of local goalkeepers.

‘He’s got a presence, his positioning and distribution is excellent and he commands the box by letting the players know what is going on around them.

‘I can’t fault him and that save he made at the end, you could say was the difference between winning and losing.'

Either side of the juniors' victory, Jersey's women and men both lost to the Royal Navy FA. The women finished 1-0 down in the morning kick-off, and Martin Cassidy's men's squad conceded twice in the last seven minutes to fall to a 2-1 defeat.

 

Match reports and reaction in Monday's Final Whistle, the JEP's weekly sports supplement.

 

 

 

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