The 4 teachers

In June 1981 Rob Batiste recalled a great cricket victory:

Four-way link with the past

W Barrett     P Le Cocq      R Roussel      V Collenette

WHAT have these four cricketers still playing regularly in island cricket in common – Warren Barrett, Robin Roussel, Vernon Collenette and Pierre Le Cocq? And the answer is not that they are all schoolmasters. These four were in the Guernsey side which beat Jersey by 38 runs at the College Field 20 years ago in 1961, Guernsey’s first victory in inter-insular cricket since the islands played for a trophy in 1957. Guernsey and Jersey inter-insular matches got off to a rather drab start. In 1957 and 58 the games were drawn as was the 1959 match, which was notable for a century by Jersey’s 51-year-old captain, RFB O’Callaghan.

Jersey won the 1960 match by two wickets despite a fine innings of 92 by Guernsey’s talented Alan Bisson. but the 1961 team looked good on paper and fully justified colleague John Le Poidevin’s bold forecast of a Sarnian victory. The Guernsey team on that day was captained by Collenette, who is still playing regularly for College Fourths in Division Five of the evening league at the age of 56. The match was Roussel’s third inter-insular game while Le Cocq, who has now played a record 18 times for Guernsey, and Barrett were making their debuts for the island.

According to John Le Poidevin’s match report the Guernsey team was strong in every department and fulfilled the selectors’ hopes by producing their known form at the right time. He added: ‘It was a grand day’s cricket on a wicket that helped bowlers but also enabled the batsmen to make strokes.’ The Guernsey side thoroughly deserved their victory on that August day and never looked like losing. They were made to struggle for runs against some good Jersey bowling but, in the end, won through to make a very respectable total of 178. Jersey were not left with as much time to make their runs. Guernsey batted for 200 minutes and left the Caesareans 145 to either save or win the game.

Collenette had won the toss and Alan Bisson and Peter Burgess opened the Sarnians’ innings. Eleven runs had been scored when the first Guernsey wicket fell. Burgess slashed at a fast rising ball outside his off stump and Le Marquand took a great catch behind the wicket. Lloyd joined Bisson and between them they gradually got on top of the consistent bowling. Jersey captain Knight replaced Carter at the Rue a l’Or end and Bisson welcomed this with a beautiful on drive for four. Grantham continued to bowl well at the other end and when he was replaced after an hour by off spinner Vie Newton, he switched to the other end where he took the wickets of both Bisson and Lloyd. Bisson, who had made 35, was first to go, bowled immediately after hitting a boundary. Then Lloyd tried to tickle the ball down the leg side and was brilliantly caught by Le Marquand. Undaunted by these reverses Roussel and Barrett attacked the bowlers. Roussel off-drove Newton for two cracking boundaries and Barrett used his feet well to drive Grantham for six. The 100 was raised in just over equal time and at this score Roussel was bowled by Newton for 17.

Guernsey were 100 for four at lunch and in the first over after the interval Barrett failed to get over a ball from Grantham and gave Knight a catch at mid-off. Alan Hunter and Roger Self did their best to retrieve the position and although the next 45 minutes were a little dull the batsmen were taking no chances. Hunter was the more confident of the two but Self suddenly surged ahead of him with four boundaries. Hunter then opened up with a six and a four to square leg off successive deliveries from Carter. This pair added 62 runs for the sixth wicket before Self was bowled hitting out. The remaining three wickets soon fell and Guernsey were all out for 178. Grantham was the star Jersey bowler with four wickets from 22 overs, half of which were maidens. Jersey were left with 145 minutes to get the runs and with Newton in enterprising form they scored a quick 30 for the first wicket. Hart trapped Newton leg before for 21 with the score at 30 and one run later O’Brien was caught by Bill Druce, again off Hart. Le Marquand hit one tremendous shot off Le Cocq but only he and Grantham gave any resistance to the Guernsey bowling attack. Once Bisson had bowled Le Marquand for 31, Guernsey only had to get rid of Grantham, who scored 42 good runs before eventually edging a ball from Le Cocq and being snapped up by Lloyd.