AFTER a historic win over the old enemy seven days earlier, Jersey Reds Women head coach Simon Le Moignan was deflated but phlegmatic after seeing his team unable to repeat the result.
The Reds fell agonizingly short on the scoreboard at Footes Lane on Saturday, defeated 13-12, but were well short of their best and a strong finish came too late to affect the result.
The result followed a 40-0 home thumping of Guernsey on 14 May, leaving the Reds as firm favourites to claim back-to-back titles.
Le Moignan said: ‘I don’t know if it was a bit of travel sickness after the journey across, but we didn’t really start to play until the last 15 or 20 minutes and the penalty count against us was high.
‘Being down to 14 players [after Georgie Ruellan’s yellow card] and the unfortunate injury [to Stacy Benstead] seemed to spur us on, and the Guernsey coach said to me afterwards that they needed another score. Five more minutes and maybe we could have got there.’
Ironically, both of this month’s Ladies Siam fixtures were played with 35-minute halves, in line with regulations applicable at Jersey’s level, rather than the 40 played by Guernsey at a higher rung of the league ladder.
The home side had initially wanted to play an 80-minute game, but ended up being grateful to have opted for the shorter format.
Le Moignan added: ‘We will go again – it’s been a steep learning curve, but we achieved something special in the home Siam, and I could not be more proud of the way the girls stepped up.
‘We had some disruption, with Georgie Keens coming in for her first game at hooker, but everyone stood up.
‘Our defence was on-point, but we had very little front-foot ball and that cost us in the end, with a lot of unforced errors that meant we never had a platform on which to build.’
It was the first time the losing side in the Ladies Siam had finished within a score of the winners since Guernsey beat Jersey United Banks Ladies, the forerunners to Jersey Reds Women, 10-5 in 2012.