Inter Insular #51 2002

The match was played at Grainville, Jersey
on Saturday 10th August 2002
for the Deutsche Bank Offshore Trophy
50 overs per side
Umpires John Mountford (Guernsey) and Mike Carpenter (Jersey)
Scorers Mark Vidamour (Guernsey) Jane Le Gros(Jersey)
Toss won by Jersey who elected to field
Guernsey won by 35 runs

Guernsey innings    RunsBallsMins4s6sSR Jersey bowlingOvMdnRunsWktsWNbSRER
G MilnesbHorton24376240Horton17276260514.5
M ClaphamcHaguebT Carlyon24889900Hague91490105.4
A BanerjeecTewkesburybHorton50698660Jones103490104.9
JDJ Frithnotout88768571T Carlyon9345100545.0
*A Bigginsrunout10141500Douglas51260005.2
S E Le Prevostnotout371620.060
+†I Damarelldnb
E Benfielddnb
G J Richdnb
M Renoufdnb
M Culverwelldnb
Extras (b2, lb5, w12, nb0)19
Total (for 4 wkts in 50 overs)252
Fall of wickets

Jersey innings    RunsBallsMins4s6sSR Guernsey bowlingOvMdnRunsWktsWNbSRER
M HaguecFrithbRich42355460Culverwell60290304.8
S CarlyonhitwicketbRich27758610Renouf51280305.6
C JonescLe PrevostbBanerjee15313710Banerjee13130221392.3
P Goughrunout8202600Rich1907941228.54.2
*T CarlyoncBigginsbBanerjee9242900Milnes6.304132012.66.5
R TewkesburycFrithbRich1111200
C DouglasbMilnes46545521
M PatidarcRenoufbMilnes9192400
B SilvacFrithbRich6101700
†+S Shortnotout16101611
P HortonbMilnes129810
Extras (b6, lb4, w13, nb3)26
Total (in 49.3 overs)217
Fall of wickets
1-67(Hague),2-94(S Carlyon),3-96(Jones),4-110(Gough),5-113(T Carlyon),6-115(Tewkesbury),7-142(Patidar),8-179(Silva),9-197(Douglas),10-217(Horton)

Jersey Post by Murray Dron

Jersey will have three new caps in their side to face Guernsey in the full inter-insular. Seventeen year old Peter Gough, Ben Silva and Meeku Patidar have been included for the first time. They replace Dave Gorman, Mark Reynolds and Bradley Vowden who are all unavailable.
Chris Searson, the Jersey Cricket Association chairman of selectors said ‘There were one or two places open and half a dozen players were in contention. The three coming in are all young, giving us one of the best fielding teams the Island has ever had.’
Gough is one of the youngest players to have played for Jersey. Searson added, ‘It is a strong side and I’m pretty confident we’ve chosen a team that will do the business on the day.’ The Jersey team is T Carlyon (capt), M Hague, S Carlyon, W Jenner, C Jones, P Gough, B Silva, S Short, C Douglas, P Horton, M Patidar, 12th man R Tewkesbury.
Rob Tewkesbury played in stead of Ward Jenner who was ill.

Guernsey Press
‘Vidamour unfazed by Jersey selection’ by Gareth Le Prevost

Peter Vidamour remains just as confident that his Guernsey side will break their inter-insular duck despite the news that Jersey has named a very strong side. The Caesareans, who will be led by Tony Carlyon for the first time, have the luxury of being able to play eight front-line batsmen, with all-rounders Craig Douglas and Simon Short coming in as low as nine and 10.
But the Guernsey manager has far too much experience to be fazed by the opposition’s selection. ‘I am looking forward to us winning for the first time in what will be 11 years,’ Vidamour said. ‘Their side is really as expected. The nucleus of it has been around for 10 years and there is no doubt that it is a good side and a strong batting line-up. But I think that we are capable of beating them.’ he added.
There are three new caps in the Jersey XI on this occasion. Peter Gough, the 17-year-old Victoria College opening batsman and captain of the victorious under 21s, becomes one of the youngest players to represent the island in this fixture. He is joined by fellow newcomers Ben Silva, of the all-conquering Sporting Club Francais, and Meeku Patidar, who has been a Channel Islands representative in the ECB County 38s this season. ‘The three coming in are all young, giving us one of the best fielding teams the island has ever had,’ said Chris Searson, the Jersey Cricket Association chairman of selectors.
But Vidamour is not concerned and, after playing in the over 40s inter-insular at Grainville, he has picked up a few ideas before the main event. ‘It is not a typical Grainville wicket. It seamed around bit but it is not the pace it has been in the past,’ he said. ‘It is a good wicket for medium pacers, but it also turned a bit, which is good for us because we have three spinners. Jersey haven’t got too much variety in their bowling – they are all similar medium pacers while we have a varied attack and I think that will help.
The manager also pointed out that his over 40s teammate Dave Hearse made an interesting observation during their side’s win on Sunday. ‘Dave said when he looked at our team out in the field there were guys who actually know how to win an inter-insular, which we haven’t really had in the senior game for a while. But this year we have players involved who know how to win big games and things are looking quite good,’ said Vidamour.

‘Vidamour to quit – who next?’ by Gareth Le Prevost
Peter Vidamour is to stand down as Island manager after this season. He confirmed yesterday that he is to quit the post after the Four Islands Tournament in September which means that Saturday’s inter-insular will be his last in charge. ‘Originally it was a three-year thing and I have come to the end of that three years,’ said Vidamour. ‘Gary Tapp (the Guernsey Cricket Association president) wanted me to carry on, even if it was just for one more year, but if I did, I won’t be as committed to it as I would need to be. It is time for a change. I think a new person with new ideas will be good for the team,’ he added.
Vidamour said when he accepted the job, he had no idea just how much it involved. ‘The overriding reason why I am standing down is just that too much of my time was taken over by cricket. I have been amazed by the amount of hours I have done on it – it really is a huge number. And there is the mental pressure as well, because you find yourself thinking about it all the time and it is very tiring,’ added Vidamour.
During his time in the role he took it upon himself to organise all of the island squad’s fixtures, training sessions, tours and other arrangements. He was also in charge of the other age-groups sides such as the under 21s and under 25s. However, Vidamour said that in future those responsibilities should be delegated around a group of people. ‘I think these should be an Island manager but there should also be an administrative helper – there is a definite need for that because you can get bogged down in admin. Also an official coach might be an idea, I have had people like Paul Wakeford, Mike Kinder and this year Jeremy Frith helping me unofficially but I think it needs a more formal structure,; he said.
Filling Vidamour’s shoes will be extremely difficult especially when his job description is taken into account. You have to be very committed and be prepared to upset people. You also have to get a good team around you,’ he said. As for his possible successor? The unpaid post will initially be advertised but do not expect a rush of applications.

Jersey Post
‘Athletic Jersey ready to keep run going …’ by Andy Bradshaw

Skipper Tony Carlyon leads Jersey into the inter-insular on Saturday hopeful that 13 will be a lucky number. Carlyon wins his 13th cap and he’s confident Jersey will beat Guernsey for the eleventh year on the trot. Carlyon said ‘I’m confident the side we’ve chosen will beat Guernsey again. They have three new caps in their side like us and I’m sure that will give them a bit of a boost as their new-comers have all played at a good level. I’ve only seen Amitara Banajee play and he is a strong bat. New Zealander Glen Milnes is rated highly in Guernsey but I can’t comment on him as I’ve not seen him play. However, we’ve got Matt Hague and my brother Steve in our team and I don’t believe there is a better opening partnership in the Channel Islands. I’m not worried about the Guernsey team, I’m more interested in ours. We have an experienced side and that counts for a lot. The Jersey team with the new caps is the best ever when it comes to fielding.’
The Grainville wicket is not as quick this year and that may favour Guernsey who will include three spinners. ‘The wicket playing slower is down to a change in ground staff and indifferent weather,’ said Carlyon. ‘The pressure is on Guernsey to end their run of defeats and I think they’re going to try it with spin this year. If our players play ‘correctly’ we’ll be OK. I don’t believe Guernsey have the strength in depth in their batting that we do.’
Guernsey are reported to have between 150 and 200 fans travelling by sea for the game, they’re usually very noisy so the picturesque Grainville ground should have a good atmosphere for the match.
Carlyon also feels it is time to bring in umpires from the UK and not those from Jersey or Guernsey. ‘I don’t see why the Jersey and Guernsey Cricket Associations don’t do the same as football does for the Muratti. There were some strange decisions made last year and it was the umpires who were remembered after the game and not the players as it should be.’

[GS Milnes born 15 Oct 1974 in Tasman, New Zealand played 1st class cricket for Central Districts in 1997-2000. He was the grandson of LA Milnes who played 1st class cricket for Otago for two years.]

Glenn Milnes

[AA Banerjee played 5 times for Bengal between 1996 and 2000 scoring 93 runs with a highest of 48 as well as bowling 6-2-21-0. Previously he had played for Bengal U19 on 6 occasions in seasons 1990 and 1991.]

Guernsey Press
‘New skipper accepts that the run has to end’ by Gareth Le Prevost

After 10 straight victories it is hardly surprising that Jersey are in a confident mood going into tomorrow’s inter-insular at Grainville. But there have been a couple of changes across the water recently, the major one being a change of leadership with Tony Carlyon replacing the injured Dave Gorman as captain and it is a position that the Sporting Club Francais skipper is looking forward to filling. ‘This will be my 12th game and it is nice to have been appointed,’ said Carlyon. ‘I think Sporting Club’s performance over the last two or three seasons have helped mu cause and also the fact that a few Sporting Club players have been picked – there are five of us in the side.’
Carlyon will be in charge of a team that includes eight of the 11 that played in last year’s victory at the KGV. The other three are all gaining their first cap. The new captain is undoubtedly happy with the side and he enjoyed being on the selection panel which chose it. ‘I did have quite a lot of input. We sat down last Friday – myself, Chris Searson and Keith Dennis – and we had 10 names out of the 11 down fairly quickly and unanimously. The other slot we debated over for 40 or 45 minutes before we came to out conclusion. ‘A couple of people had made themselves unavailable because they are out of the island which is a little disappointing but the three new ones in the side certainly deserve their chance and hopefully they will prove it,’ added Carlyon.
Ben Silva, Meeku Patidar and Peter Gough – all of whom are batsmen – are the Jersey newcomers and it is the latter’s selection that has proved to be the biggest talking point. But Carlton has no qualms about including the Victoria College left-hander and said that he has certain qualities that make him stand out as a player of great potential. Peter brings a mature head to young shoulders. Considering he is only a 17-year-old he bats like a 25-year-old and he is a great fielder too – as are Ben and Meeku. ‘I think that, without doubt, this is the best fielding side Jersey has had since I have been involved,; added the skipper.
Of course Carlyon himself has so often been the scourge of Guernsey cricket in the past but the depth in Jersey’s batting this year means that he cannot be sure when he will bat. At present he acknowledges that only three places in the order are accounted for. ‘Steve [Carlyon] and Matty Hague will definitely open,’ he said. ‘From there on we will be very flexible down the order although I am pretty sure Paul Horton will be at 11.’
One thing that could determine the order is how the wicket plays, according to the new skipper. ‘Grainville is definitely not like is used to be. It is not the bets batting track on the island any more, but it is a good cricket pitchy mow because there is something in it for the bowlers.’ Horton could be described as the Jersey side’s only specialist bowler because the rest of the attack is made up of all-rounders. Furthermore, they all bowl in basically the same way – right-arm medium pace – but Carlyon believes that there is no point in choosing a spinner just for the sake of it, especially if he does not warrant a place, and is confident he has the necessary ammunition at his disposal.
‘Paul has bowled exceedingly well throughout the season, especially in the County 38s competition. ‘Matty Hague has also bowled very well this season, Chris Jones normally bowls well in inter-insulars and Steve has done a good job when needed on the weekends this season. ‘Then we have myself and Craig Douglas to make up the attack and, if needs be, we have Peter Gough’s off-spin,’ said Carlyon.
But while being perfectly prepared to discuss his own side, the captain is reluctant to focus on the opposition, although part of that is due to the fact that Guernsey have several new faces he has yet to encounter. ‘I played against Banerjee a couple of weeks ago and he looked very tight and correct. Milnes I haven’t seen much of but I have heard bits and bobs and he is obviously a decent player and Mark Renouf I don’t know much about at all. But I am not worrying about Guernsey.’
Although confident that the Sarnians will not make the breakthrough they so desperately crave this year, Carlyon is not so short-sighted to believe that Jersey’s run will go on indefinitely. ‘The run can only go on so long. It is a one-off game and luck goes against you or if three or four of the opposition perform brilliantly you have to accept that you will lose,’ he said. ‘As long as our players produce what they are capable of I am sure we have got the better players – but it will come to an end sooner or later. When it does, we have got to bounce back straight away and not allow ourselves to get into a rut and lose several games on the trot,’ added Carlyon.

‘Skipper calls for disciplined performance’ by Gareth Le Prevost
Discipline is what will win Guernsey the inter-insular says new captain Andy Biggins. With Jersey bidding to win tomorrow’s big match for the 11th successive year, the Optimists skipper believes that his side can learn a lot from their opponents’ philosophy. ‘It comes down to two things – discipline and playing to our potential,’ said Biggins. ‘Discipline is the main thing, especially in the bowling because that is where we will put them under pressure. Part of the problems with our batting over the years is that we have been chasing very decent totals.’
Biggins emphasised that success will come down to doing the basics well on the day. ‘If we field, bat and bowl better than them we will win. It sounds simple but we haven’t done it for a long time and essentially it is a case of beating them at their own game,’ he said. ‘Jersey are a very good side and they have stopped us playing to our potential in the past. But we are not going to be intimidated by them – we will respect the fact that they are strong but it is time we put them under pressure for a change.’
This will be Biggins’ first inter-insular in charge of the Sarnians and since being appointed he has thrived with the bat, although his form has rarely dipped in the past two years. Last year, when he regained his inter-insular spot, he finished the game top scorer at the KGV with a superb 71 simply by playing his natural, positive game and e wants all of the side to do the same this year. ‘The problem in the past is that people have changed the way they play in this game – they have played the occasion rather than the match and they get a little overawed. The fact is that the side’s been picked on the way they have played during the season and if they don’t play that way against Jersey then they are basically conning the selectors,’ added the captain.

‘Mental strength should bring first win since 1991’ by Gareth Le Prevost
Peter Vidamour goes into his last inter-insular as island manager today unsatisfied. During his three years in charge of Guernsey’s representative sides the senior squad undoubtedly has made strides forward. But Vidamour wants more. ‘We haven’t been able to achieve what I thought we would – we haven’t beaten Jersey yet and although overall it has gone alright, I haven’t developed everything as much as I would have liked,’ he said. ‘I found being a cricket manager quite frustrating. There is only so much you can do because once you put the team out they are on their own. It is not like being a football manager where you can change things during a match – what you can do on the day is limited.’
Therefore, most of Vidamour’s work with the squad has been during training sessions but again he says that although practice can help the right attitude is the vital ingredient in success. While a manager is accountable for the side’s performance he has to rely on those on the pitch to back up his judgement of them. ‘A lot of it is down to the players. If they haven’t got the commitment and character to perform on the big occasion it is difficult to drum it into them. Put simply, some players are inter-insular cricketers and some aren’t, I’m afraid,’ he said.
This year Vidamour’s cause has been helped by the arrival in the island of players such as Glenn Milnes, Ami Banerjee and Mark Renouf. Not only are they talented, their experience and temperament should be a major benefit to the Guernsey team in an inter-insular which has so often succumbed to nerves on the big day in the local cricket calendar. ‘It is a mental barrier. Our team is not far behind Jersey in terms of talent but they this big hurdle (10 successive defeats) and they have to get over it – hopefully they will do that this time,’ said Vidamour. ‘If you look at the team there are four new players who aren’t affected by the past results and thy are used to playing in big games. We also have three or four guys who play regularly in the Channel Islands side and so they are used to big games on a more regular basis now. So the nucleus of the side aren’t affected by that barrier.’
At the start of this season Vidamour appointed Andy Biggins as the new Guernsey captain to give the side a fresh approach. He was the obvious choice then due to his numerous successes with Optimists but the manager seems slightly surprised with how suitable he has turned out to be. ‘He has done really well. I have been impressed by the amount of detail he puts into his thinking about the game. I wouldn’t describe him as demonstrative – he talks quietly to his players to get his point across and I think you don’t need to be a great motivator as Guernsey captain because the players should be motivated as it is to represent the island. ‘He has made a good start and another positive is that it doesn’t seem to affect his own game,’ he added.
The Guernsey manager travels to Grainville confident of success but fully aware of where the game will be won. ‘Historically the problem has been in scoring enough runs., I am confident that our batting line-up can score the required amount. ‘But I think that our real advantage is in the bowling and it is our variety. All of the Jersey bowlers are medium pace – they are good bowlers but if you get in against them they can’t really change it. I think lack of variety will count against them while we have three seamers and three spinners and our spinners are very different bowlers in their own right,’ Vidamour added.
A bonus for the side is the fact that a large number of Sarnian supporters are making the trip over to cheer them on, hoping for, or even expecting, the first Guernsey victory since 1991. The outgoing manager is also in a very positive mood, as long as his troops play their normal game. ‘It is fair to say that I am more confident this year but that is not to say that I didn’t think that we were going to win in the previous years’ Sometimes in the past I have felt that we worried too much about it. The important thing is to go out and play – don’t change the way you play just because it is this particular game. There are other things in life more important than cricket. I want us to win, obviously, but the days where I thought cricket was life or death are past,’ said Vidamour.
Team: Glenn Milnes, Mark Clapham, Jeremy frith, Ami Banerjee, Andy Biggins (captain), Stuart Le Prevost, Ian Damarell, Ed Benfield, Gary Rich, Mark Renouf, Mark Culverwell.

Jersey Post
‘Record run is over’ by Andy Bradshaw
Jersey’s ten year domination of senior inter-insular cricket is over. Guernsey claimed their first victory since 1991 at Grainville on Saturday and they fully deserved it.
Water on the wicket resulted in a 30 minute delay so the match was reduced to 50 overs.

Guernsey Press
‘Jersey flag at half-mast as Sarnians end drought’ by Gareth Le Prevost

It was a long time in coming but how they deserved it. Guernsey put in a classy performance at Grainville on Saturday to break finally the inter-insular stranglehold that Jersey have enjoyed over the last decade. And in many ways, due to the weather in particular, they did it against the odds. With the overcast conditions and threat of rain never far away, the toss seemed to be of vital importance and, almost predictably, it went the way of Jersey’s new skipper, Tony Carlyon. But this Guernsey XI were up for the challenge after Carlyon had, unsurprisingly, put them in to bat.
The recalled Mark Clapham and newcomer Glenn Milnes gave them the start they were chosen for – a solid one, although both were given early lifelines. The Optimists opener was dropped by Chris Jones at first slip in Mathew Hague’s third over from the pavilion end when the score was on eight, while the Australian couldn’t hold onto a tough return chance from the Kiwi Milnes in the 10th over. Milnes then settled and played a couple of delightful shots through the leg side – a pull and a whip off his legs – for boundaries as the scoring rate began to increase.
The half-century opening stand was brought up in the 17th over when the St Pierre man drove Paul Horton for four through the covers. But the bowler got revenge immediately when he produced a beauty that clipped the top of Milnes’ off stump the very next ball. That dismissal saw one debutant replaced by another as Ami Banerjee walked calmly out to the middle before playing an innings of sheer class. His club-mate Clapham stayed with his for a while as the score moved to 85 in the 27th over but the opener went when a leading edge off Tony Carlyon popped up to Hague at mid-wicket.
It was Jeremy Frith who joined the Indian to take the game away from Jersey. Both took a little time to have a look at the bowling but Banerjee was always prepared to dispose of the bad ball with one flip through square leg off Craig Douglas particularly impressive. But then the fun began with three balls that will forever stay in the memory of the Guernsey supporters who were present. Frith had made just one from 18 balls when Tony Carlyon began his sixth over, having so far been very economical. The Cobo batsman decided it was time to accelerate and pulled out one of his typical deflection sweep shots which raced down to the vacant fine-leg area for four. He did exactly the same the next ball and forced Carlyon to move Douglas from third man to fine leg. Frith’s response was to reverse sweep Carlyon for another four the following ball. The Guernsey crowd came alive and the two batsmen started to take Jersey apart with boundaries. Frith swept the Jersey captain for six and Banerjee produced two superb straight drives off successive Douglas deliveries. The third-wicket pair interspersed the boundaries with ones and twos and the run-rate bean to rocket. Frith reached his 50 first with another sweep for two and Banerjee brought up his half century in the next over with a single to the point boundary. Unfortunately, the latter fell to is next ball when he top-edged an attempted pull and was caught by Rob Tewkesbury – playing in place of the unwell Ward Jenner.
Andy Biggins joined Frith in a partnership that added 27 before the skipper was run out trying to keep the scoring rate high. Stuart Le Prevost then walked out and, with no pressure on him, simply enjoyed himself for the last five overs. Frith – who ended on 88 not out – was understandably tired so his club captain took as much strike as possible and bludgeoned an unbeaten 37 from just 16 balls in an awesome display of clean hitting that helped Guernsey pass the 250 barrier on the last ball of their innings.
But the job was not complete. Things did not go Guernsey’s way at the start of the Jersey reply. The rain came down and M<ark Culverwell could not complete either of his first two overs without being disrupted. When play was possible, Hague and Steve Carlyon got their side off to a flier with the Cobo paceman and a nervous Mark Renouf having to bowl in testing conditions. Jersey were 58 for nought after the opening attack had finished their 11 overs, but Banerjee replaced Renouf at the pavilion end and produced such a controlled spell of bowling that Guernsey always looked comfortable favourites when he was running in. At the other end Gary Rich replaced Culverwell and from the last ball of his opening over Hague attempted to force a short ball through the off side. He got a nick, the ball rebounded off Ian Damarell and Frith took the catch at slip.
Guernsey never looked back and Rich settled down to produce a fine unbroken spell of 19 overs. Steve Carlyon was next to fall when he chopped his bat on his own stumps after being bogged down by the off-spinner’s big turning deliveries.
Jones provided Banerjee with the first of his two deserved wickets with Le Prevost holding on to a straightforward chance at point and it became 110 for four when Ed Benfield and Damarell combined to run out an unfortunate Peter Gough when he lost his footing. Then came the big wicket of the Jersey skipper as Carlyon attempted to hit his side out of trouble and holed out to Biggins at long-off, who grabbed the ball after an initial juggle.
With Banerjee coming off after his excellent 13-over spell, Rich and Milnes continued to turn the screw, although Craig Douglas batted extremely well for Jersey. But the support just wasn’t there. Rich added the wickets of Tewkesbury and Ben Silva to his tally and he should have ended with five, but both Frith and Clapham put down last man Horton in successive balls of his final over. So it was left to Milnes – who had claimed the scalps of Douglas and Meeku Patidar by this stage – to wrap things up with three balls remaining by re-arranging Horton’s stumps as Jersey were bowled out for 217. All that was left was for Frith to be named man-of-the-match and for Biggins to hold aloft the trophy to a huge cheer from the Sarnians.

Steve Carlyon bowled by Gary Rich                  GEP

‘Frith leads Sarnian victory run-feast’ by Gareth Le Prevost
Guernsey have beaten Jersey on the cricket field at long last. The barren run of 11 years ended at Grainville on Saturday as the Sarnians outplayed the home team to secure a 35-run success, much to the delight of out-going manager Peter Vidamour.
‘I’m over the moon. It is a really good way to sigh off – I am really pleased,’ he said. ‘Beating Jersey is what I aimed to do when I became manager and I would have been very disappointed to have resigned without s having achieved it. All the way through the season the squad believed we could win, we weren’t really thinking about losing,’ added Vidamour.
After being inserted in tricky conditions Guernsey built a huge score of 252 for four with Ami Banerjee (50) and the man-of-the-match Jeremy Frith (88 not out) playing the star roles. ‘Frithy’s innings is probably the best knock I’ve seen in local cricket – it was juts so unorthodox,’ said the manager. Then Jersey succumbed to the variety of the Sarnians bowling as they ended on 217 all out in the final over of the match with Gary Rich the main wicket-taker with four. ‘Our batting performed brilliantly: 252 is some score in an inter-insular and everyone did well. We then showed that our bowling attack was much better suited to the game than theirs,’ added Vidamour. Andy Biggins, the first Guernsey captain since 1991 to win an inter-insular, echoed the manager’s sentiments. ‘It is very satisfying – I am chuffed for everybody. Basically, everything we talked about all season was put into practice – everything went right and the crowd were absolutely fantastic. This should be the start of something good,’ he said. His opposite number, Tony Carlyon, was gracious in defeat. ‘I give all credit to Frith and Banerjee for the way they batted and we can’t have any complaints. All good things come to an end and now we have got to be strong and positive next time around,’ Carlyon said.

Guernsey Press
‘Superb team performance secured Guernsey win’ by Andy Biggins

Commitment and character were the two qualities that ensured a fine Guernsey victory in the inter-insular since 1991 at Grainville on Saturday. A superb team performance confirmed the application of the entire squad this season. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of a memorable day was the knowledge that a talented side played to their potential. For the first time in a long time Guernsey were able to put Jersey under pressure and they had no answer.
The ‘fear of failure’ that had inhibited a batting line-up over the years – prolific in local club cricket but notably uncertain against the typical line and length of the Caesarean attack – was cast aside. Of course the same pre-match nerves were floating around the Grainville dressing rooms. That was only to be expected. But there was an air of anticipation too, and, despite losing what appeared to be a good toss to win, from the first Jersey delivery of our innings, Guernsey called the shots. The emphasis was always on establishing a steady start while maintaining wickets in hand.
A firm nudge into the leg side from Glenn Milnes got Jersey’s impressive new scoreboard ticking over. Reaching 45 off 15 overs was mentioned – Mark Clapham and Milnes achieved that and notched an opening half century stand. Importantly, with the loss of Milnes, who impressed on debut, Clapham added 33 with Ami Banerjee. Guernsey were in good shape, despite Clapham’s dismissal, with nigh on 100 runs on the board, 20 overs left and eight wickets in hand.
What followed was inspired batting on the part of Banerjee and Jeremy Frith. A free-flowing run-a-ball partnership of 87 took the game away from Jersey. Both highlighted their big-match class. Both inspired a determined side with their efforts. Frith set the tone with his second scoring shot of the day. His fine sweep off the bowling of Jersey skipper Tony Carlyon was followed by a carbon copy off the second delivery. The Guernsey team and the Sarnian supporters pre-empted the next shot as the Jersey skipper moved his fielder from third-man to counter Frith’s handiwork. The reverse sweep was the cheeky option and its perfect execution rendered Jersey helpless.
What ensued was a barrage of boundaries – Banerjee’s straight fours were certainly the highlight and underlined the class of Optimists’ all-rounder. After his departure, Frith continued in his own inimitable style. Stuart Le Prevost was brutal when called upon to bat, his explosive innings ensuring that Guernsey set a target of 253, certainly our highest total in the last 15 years and, in all likelihood, our most productive performance with the bat since the annual showpiece became a limited-overs contest in the late 70s. So the hard work was done.
‘I don’t believe Guernsey have the strength in depth in their batting,’ captain Carlyon had said before the match. On previous inter-insular form he was justified in his statement, but he was forced to eat more than his lunch in between innings on this occasion. Save a threatening opening partnership from Matt Hague and Steve Carlyon – both capitalising on early problems for the visitors with the ball – Jersey’s batsmen were found wanting. Banerjee was the inspiration with the ball for Guernsey – he beat Jersey at their own game with a miserly line and length – while Gary Rich relished the opportunity to bowl on a helpful track, producing his second haul of four wickets in an inter-insular. Yes, he did deserve a fifth for his 19-over bowling commitment to the cause, but this was about teamwork.
Guernsey manager Peter Vidamour had the just reward he yearned for from his industrious three years in charge of the side. The well-oiled Sarnian supporters – who were unrelenting in their fantastic support – for once left the home of Jersey cricket with plenty to cheer about. Gracious in defeat, Jersey accepted their fate in sporting fashion, acknowledging that their 10-year domination was over. ‘Guernsey were the better team and they deserved to win,’ said Tony Carlyon. There was no doubt about that.