The Caesarean squad progressed to today’s top-eight schedule at the expense of Guernsey, with the Channel Islands rivals only being separated on countback after three group games in the Latvian capital.
A 4-0 loss to Pool D winners Croatians left Charlie Grice and Co with a nervous wait ahead of the Sarnians’ match against Romania, whom Jersey had themselves beaten 3-1 on Wednesday before being held to a 2-2 draw by the men from our sister isle.
A 4-0 victory for Guernsey in their final group outing would have been enough to send them straight through, but a 3-1 triumph would leave the two islands level on both points and rubbers and requiring further calculations based on games won and lost.
That was exactly how it panned out.
Jersey held the upper hand courtesy of a greater number of games won in their draw [8-6], with Rob Hickling and Anthony Harkin’s singles in 3-1 individual losses to Martin Willis and Patrick Josey eventually proving crucial.
Bronze medallists both in 2016 and last year, Jersey were due to face unbeaten Pool C winners Sweden this morning. The Swedes won 11 of their 12 group-stage rubbers 3-0.