JERSEY’S juniors ‘should be incredibly proud of themselves’ according to team captain Derek De La Haye.
The inexperienced side were big underdogs as they welcomed neighbours Guernsey to La Moye Golf Club.
Despite the gulf in handicaps, what ensued was an enthralling contest that narrowly went the way of Guernsey 6.5 – 5.5.
The hosts had it all to do in the singles after a 3-1 defeat in the fourball format.
Ben Shield and Ben Carnegie-Bedlow got the hosts off to a flyer with a 2&1 victory over the strong visiting pair of Rory McKenna and Chloe Domaille, before Guernsey stamped their authority, winning the next three matches by margins of 5&4, 2&1 and 6&5.
The Sarnians elected to go for strength at the front of the singles draw and won two-and-a-half out of the first three points on offer – Anabelle Lucas-Villar grabbing Jersey’s half-point.
However, the hosts mounted an inspired comeback attempt, winning four out of the remaining five matches to finish just a point behind the favourites.
De La Haye said: ‘It was such a fantastic effort.
‘Their handicaps were significantly lower than ours, but the way the whole team performed knowing that was outstanding.
‘I was amazed by the standard of golf from both teams. Three of the fourball matches made eagle on the sixth hole and there were a whole host of birdies. It was a joy to watch.
‘We have to give credit to Guernsey for coming out during the opening session and taking control of that to lead 3-1. I think their strength really did show.
‘Heading into the singles session, we were hopeful to stick some points on the board, but to actually win the session was fantastic.
‘I was full of praise for the team after the first session despite the score because they played some great golf.
‘We knew we were still in the fight and just had to give it our all on Sunday, which we certainly did.
‘I think this year will give the team so much confidence going forward because they will all learn and grow from this experience and coming so close against a strong side.’
Also playing in tandem with the main event, was a development squad match, which gave four players from either side a chance to represent their Island – with an eye on selection in the coming years.
Jacob Townsend, Aiden Wilson, Chloe Cadoret and Ben Carvalho were all given the nod and even had the juniors from the main match watching on.
‘It was fantastic to see the youngsters out in Jersey outfits,’ said De La Haye.
‘They followed the main match, so both teams were cheering them home on the 18th, which was very special.
Fourballs (Jersey first)
B Shield & B Carnegie-Bedlow beat R McKenna & C Domaille 2&1
I Hamid-Wilkinson & R Hafey lost to C McKenna & T Austin 5&4
N Lawrenson & N Crake-Jones lt to J Troop & J Trebert 2&1
A Lucas-Villar & O Allchin lt to J Tucknott & L Marley 6&5
B Shield lt to C McKenna 6&5
A Lucas-Villar halved with J Tucknott
I Hamid-Wilkinson lt to R McKenna 3&2
R Hafey bt L Marley 5&4
B Carnegie-Bedlow lt to J Troop 6&5
N Crake-Jones bt T Austin 1up
O Allchin bt J Trebert 2&1
N Lawrenson bt C Domaille 6&5
Jersey Juniors 5.5 – 6.5 Guernsey Juniors