Jersey First 1
Guernsey First 1
Man of the match: Piers Brandie (Jersey)
20-YEAR-OLD shot stopper Piers Brandie has already been turning heads of late.
The Crusaders goalkeeper has already earned praise from Jersey captain Tom Millar in their championship winning season.
His hard work at club level, earned him the starting position for Jersey between the posts and it’s a responsibility he has taken to like a duck to water.
A man of the match performance from Brandie last weekend, led Jersey through to the quarter finals of the England Hockey Men’s Tier 2 Championships, after securing a shoot-out win.
The youngster showed no signs of naivete between the posts against Guernsey either.
After a dominant display from the Caesareans in the first-half, the lead was 1-0.
Brilliant link up play down the right-hand side led to Jersey forward Sam Dunstan’s releasing right-back Ned Floyd with a reverse pass, who squared it across to Simon Hurry to bury first time past Morgan Clayton.
Jersey would have loved to add another before the break.
Guernsey ill discipline within their own penalty circle gave Jersey a two man advantage for the last few minutes of the half.
The Sarnians defended stoutly however and rode the storm into half-time.
It was a tale of two halves and an inspired performance from the men in green had Jersey on the back foot all half.
A string of infringements inside Jersey’s penalty circle led to a number of short corners, where Jersey keeper Piers Brandie made save after save – the pick of the bunch a glove save to his stick side to deny a top corner goal.
Pressure told however and Mat Stokes was on hand for the Sarnians from a short corner to level the scores.
Brandie was called upon time and time again as Guernsey pushed for a winner, each time he answered the bell, as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Guernsey retained the cup and Brandie was named man of the match for the second game running.
Brandie said: ‘I take the nerves in to be honest.’
‘I turn them into positive energy and I really feel like it helps me raise my game under pressure.
‘I have waited for this opportunity and it has been a dream start to my senior career for Jersey.
The supporters turned out in their numbers for hockey’s bumper day – as crowds packed the grandstands at Les Quennevais and spilled out onto the balcony.
Jersey captain Millar said: ‘We were brilliant first-half.’
‘We frustrated them and managed to have a couple player advantage for the last few minutes – where we really should have added to the scoreline.
‘Second-half they flipped the game on it’s head and managed possession far better than us.
‘Piers made some unreal saves to keep the scores level there so full credit to him.
‘We are obviously disappointed, but we have to pick ourselves back up and look towards the big quarter-final within a months time.
Elsewhere, the Men’s Two’s match was taking place prior.
Once again the match was a tale of two halves, where the sides were locked at 1-1 heading into the break.
Jersey however, came out firing in the second-half and scored five unanswered goals to win the contest 6-1.
Stuart Ramskill said: ‘We grew in confidence throughout the contest.’
‘We moved the ball around far better and the younger lads in the team grew into the game and played more freely.
‘Blake [Macrae] scored a wonderful goal, rounding the keeper at the end.’
‘Having the home crowd cheering you on if fantastic. I have done this for a while now, but it never gets old.’
On a packed day for the sport, Men’s Three’s were also contesting for the trophy at Claremont Field.
The hotly contested game ended 2-2 with Jersey retaining the trophy.
Jersey goalkeeper Matt Cooper said: ‘First-half was very tight. They came out the blocks very well.’
‘We were spending a lot of time camped in Guernsey’s half, but their counter attacks were very excellent and led to both of their goals.
‘We came out at 2-2 for the second-half and managed to kick on from our first half.
‘However we couldn’t managed to get that winning goal which was frustrating.
‘I certainly feel like we should have comfortably won the game, but retaining the trophy is the next best thing.’