Badminton: Stars guide Jersey to Gilson glory
HOLDERS Guernsey struggled to contend with the cream of Jersey badminton at the New Gilson Hall on Saturday, as two former national champions led the hosts to their first Gilson Cup triumph in four years.
Inspirational team captain and Island development officer Mark Constable, and five-time national champion Liz Cann didn't drop a single game between them as they steered Jersey to an 18-12 success.
'There's so much history behind the Gilson Cup – there's nothing quite like it, it almost feels like an FA Cup final.'
Jersey captain Mark Constable
The Sarnians had won the last two inter-insular clashes – 2013 was cancelled due to fog – but without star players Paul Le Tocq and Elena Johnson they were unable to keep pace with Jersey, as Alex Hutchings and former England doubles specialist Mariana Agathangelou also impressed.
Trailing 12-10 after the men's and ladies' doubles, Guernsey could only claim four wins across the 12 mixed doubles rubbers as Jersey closed out a memorable victory.
Constable, who clinched the individual trophy award for his efforts, was understandably delighted with his team.
'Everyone was absolutely chuffed to bits really,' he explained.
'There's so much history behind the Gilson Cup – there's nothing quite like it, it almost feels like an FA Cup final. There was a brilliant atmosphere around the Gilson Hall on Saturday and it's fantastic to have won.
'Everyone played well which was great and of course it was nice to get that cup back off Guernsey.'
He added: 'As often happens with these contests, we lost a few matches I thought we might win but we also had some great performances.
'We were able to split me, Liz and Maz up in the mixed as well which meant we didn't put all our eggs in one basket.
'That's six matches right there that we were confident we'd get so at 12-10 with just the mixed to go, we felt in control.'
Regaining the Gilson Cup caps a hugely successful season for Jersey, who also claimed promotion to South West Division IV of the County Championships last month.
And, with Jersey set to host the NatWest Island Games this summer, Constable hopes his team's excellent form can continue into the biennial event.
Mark Constable & Alex Hutchings bt Dragun & Haynes 21-13, 21-11; bt Penney & Hardy 21-11, 21-11; bt Le Moigne & Trebert 21-14, 21-7. Jon Southern & Dave Luce bt Dragun & Haynes 15-21, 25-23, 21-17; bt Penney & Hardy 21-18, 21-17; bt Le Moigne & Trebert 19-21, 23-21, 21-16. Colin Hardwidge & Matt Bignell lost to Dragun & Haynes 18-21, 21-6, 18-21; lost to Penney & Hardy 21-19, 17-21, 13-21; lost to Le Moigne & Trebert 17-21, 21-17, 16-21.
Liz Cann & Mariana Agathangelou bt Garbutt & Trebert 21-10, 21-7; bt Barnes & Le Tissier 21-13, 21-14; bt Penney & Babbe 21-13, 21-7. Jade Coombs-Goodfellow & Kerry Coombs-Goodfellow lost to Garbutt & Trebert 21-14, 17-21, 21-23; lost to Barnes & Le Tissier 21-18, 22-24, 19-21; bt Penney & Babbe 21-16, 21-16. Emily Temple-Redshaw & Tamsyn Abraham lost to Garbutt & Trebert 12-21, 17-21; lost to Barnes & Le Tissier 12-21, 18-21; lost to Penney & Babbe 10-21, 25-27.
Constable & K Commbs-Goodfellow bt Garbutt & Le Moigne 21-5, 21-8; bt E Tebert & Dragun 21-9, 21-16. Hutchings & Agathangelou bt Garbutt & Le Moigne 18-21, 21-6, 21-14; bt E Tebert & Dragun 21-17, 21-12. Hardwidge & Cann bt A Penney & Hardy 21-10, 21-17; bt Le Tissier & D Penney 21-17, 21-10. Luce & J Coombs-Goodfellow lost to A Penney & Hardy 21-14, 15-21, 18-21; bt Le Tissier & D Penney 17-21, 21-12, 21-11. Southern & Abraham lost to Haynes & Barnes 17-21, 20-22; lost to Babbe & J Trebert 19-21, 24-26. Bignell & Temple-Redshaw lost to Haynes & Barnes 13-21, 19-21; bt Babbe & J Trebert 21-17, 8-21, 21-18.
'It is good to beat Guernsey before the Island Games but the main benefit is the confidence it gives us,' he continued.
'We've played really well in the county league this season, been promoted and now won the Gilson Cup so it feels like we're on a bit of a winning streak, which is great going into the Island Games.
'We've shown we're more than capable of beating Guernsey and they're the holders of the Island Games team event, so that's a really good sign. But there will be other very good teams here as well so we have to keep working hard and make sure we're prepared.'
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