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September 3, 2007
Guernsey secured their first ever title when they beat Jersey in the final of the European Under-15 Division 2 Championship in La Manga, Spain on Saturday.
Jersey, who have already taken gold in both the U-19 and U-23 Division 2 Championships, could not overcome the 189-run target set by Guernsey, despite the side lacking Tim Ravenscroft, their star batsman who was in England scoring a century for Hampshire Under-17s.
The two sides were the strongest throughout the competition, each winning all four group matches against the other eight teams. With the two islands being such close neighbours, the intense rivalry gave the encounter added spice, but one that did not detract from the excellent spirit in which a thoroughly competitive match was played at a truly impressive standard.
Tim de la Haye, the Jersey captain, invited Guernsey to bat - a decision that paid instant dividends as Guernsey's openers both fell, reducing them to 32 for 2. But then followed a championship-winning stand of 93 between Adam Hindle (48) and Thomas Kirk (29) who took Guernsey to 189 for 7 in their 35 overs.
Jersey's reply began poorly, with both their openers - Aidan McGuire and Bradley Rimeur - falling cheaply, and Joseph Mayes making only 11. The onus was on de la Haye, but he was left with a middle-order who had barely had any time in the middle over the past week - and had even less time to adapt to the match situation. Jersey fell short by 69 runs.
Haye's 46 was the highest score made against Guernsey in the whole tournament and included three massive sixes, two of which cleared the protective netting covering the ground's straight boundaries. Guernsey's bowlers did a great job, Matthew Renouf and Andrew Hutchinson bowled with immaculate lines and lengths. Thomas Kirk and Thomas Still both took three wickets.
Meanwhile, Isle of Man beat Spain by seven wickets to take third place in the competition, reaching their target of 137 in 28.3 overs for the loss of three wickets. Belgium took fifth place, beating Italy by six wickets and in the seventh/eighth place play-off Germany beat Cyprus by 19 runs.
In the match for ninth and 10th positions, Gibraltar beat France by 89 runs to take ninth place leaving France to claim the wooden spoon, but there was some consolation as the French took the MCC Spirit of Cricket Award.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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