Basketball:Sarnians’ experience is the key

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After going behind early on in the game, Appleby, current Jersey league champions, were always playing catch-up basketball against a side which has four players earmarked for Guernsey’s squad in Rhodes.

However, the Appleby Ladies went into the final quarter believing that Collins Stewart were catchable, partly because of the inspired play by Chan Peacock in defence and Jenni Bouteloup, whose shooting skills shone through the longer the game went on.

It wasn’t to be, however, for despite the urgent promptings of captain Sarah Madel, Guernsey’s well-disciplined team pulled further away inspired by No 8 Lorna Brown and also by Keri Brown, who was ruthless in the way she tucked away points beneath the basket.

Appleby’s consolation is that, having played and lost to Collins Stewart, they know what to expect next year – although it will be just as tough a match again if they win the league, not least because they will have to play not in Jersey but in Guernsey.

Meanwhile, following the basketball ‘Upton’ the Island side hosted the first Jersey Ladies’ Open which saw four teams taking part: Jersey, Guernsey, Romagné (Rennes) and an under-19 Jersey men’s side.

Following a series of round robin matches, the final, between Guernsey, whose captain, Liz Kerr, was outstanding, and the Jersey boys was won by the teenagers, 27-14.

Before then the Sarnians had had to endure a nail-biting two match win against Romagné, 17-14 and 16-15, to earn themselves a place in the final.

Meanwhile the Jersey ladies’ side came fourth – which was expected.

‘We (the Jersey women’s team) never expected to win because of absences and injury,’ said organiser Catherine Small, afterwards.

‘We’ve also played too few games at this kind of level.

But I was pleased for the under-19 side, which included James Read – whose finishing was excellent – while Tareq Haddad and John Lane were tireless as they moved around the court.

‘This was the first time we’ve organised a Jersey Open tournament and we’ve still a lot to learn.

In particular, we’ve got to brush up on our ball handling skills.

However, for a relatively inexperienced ladies’ team, we’ve got time on our side and I’d like to think we will be much more competitive in another year’s time.’

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