Cup holders earn semi-final spot against Grouville FC

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St Peter will now play Grouville in the semi-final at Les Quennevais on Saturday afternoon.

Grouville last night returned 2-1 winners from the Hockey Club against promoted Jersey Wanderers.

Former Muratti striker John Rutter fired Portuguese, last season’s Division II champions, ahead only for the Saints to hit back through Scott Walsh, Chris Conning and Bradley Russell.

Walsh levelled the scores after Gary Freeman’s deft touch put him clear while Conning scored a screamer from 16 yards after Russell nodded the ball back into his path following Ryan Durand’s cross from the right.

Russell, who was denied three times by excellent saves by Portuguese goalkeeper Marcio Caldeira, completed the scoring late on.

Saints’ manager Jon Trigg said: ‘It was a pleasing performance despite being slightly depleted with holidays and injuries at the moment.

But we still have a lot of work to do, especially on the balance of the side.

‘Overall I was happy, although we are still failing to capitalise on some very good chances.’ Portuguese official Sergio Carolo said: ‘Marcio had a fantastic game for us.

If those saves were on television they would be repeated over and over again today – they were absolutely brilliant.

We are a new team and we are still finding the best positions for our players.

We played quite well in the first half but fell away a little in the second.

‘Full credit to St Peter – they are a very fit and organised side and overall they deserved their victory.’ Grouville joint-managers Ian Horswell and Tony Hoyland were in charge of their team for the first time this season.

Horswell said: ‘We were pleased with how we played.

We ran up a two-goal lead and then hit woodwork three times through Marc Nightingale, Danny Hughes and Alex Buesnel.

‘We were comfortable with Marc’s 23-yard left-foot curler and Peter Hall’s header, but in the second half I felt we took our foot off the pedal.

But Wanderers battled hard throughout and they will be a tough team to beat this season.’ Wanderers’ manager Peter McVey said: ‘We were slow starters, we lacked confidence in defence early on and I think that was a result from our 8-2 defeat in Guernsey on Saturday.

‘We changed our system at half-time and we got back into the game.

We played the system we used last season, and had we converted our chances we could well have won.

‘Grouville took their goals well, and even if they had scored a third I don’t think they would have killed us off because we worked hard right up to the final whistle.’ Chris Andrews netted Wanderers’ consolation three minutes from the end.

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