Funny how things evolve. I lived in Jersey for over 30 years and still keep an eye on things over there. The rivalry between Jersey and Guernsey has always been intense since Jersey declared for the King of England and Guernsey the Roundheads! In sport the annual Jersey v Guernsey fixture – in whatever sport, is still awaited with great eagerness, this despite the greater opportunities these days of competition further afield.
Football has a long history of duals between the islands since the first match in 1905. In the early years the annual match was sponsored by the cigarette company Muratti. That name has stuck ever since even though that sponsorship was short lived. And neither team has dominated football with the trophy changing hands frequently.
In other sports there have been some remarkable runs of success. Jersey had something like 10 successive victories at cricket in the 80s and early 90s since when Guernsey have dominated proceedings. There was a time where it was difficult to see how Jersey could ever again win a badminton or squash match, but the wheel has somehow turned.
But cross-country! Rarely I suggest has a gulf existed that is so wide as to appear unbridgeable. Last weekend Guernsey placed 10 runners in the top 11 at Delancey Park in the annual men’s match. This without their top runner Lee Merrien. The mismatch has existed for quite a number of years now and, despite something of a revival in junior running in Jersey it really is hard to see when this state of affairs will ever even out.
Remarkably however Jersey have consistently had the better women’s teams with, last weekend, Guernsey struggling to close full female teams on their home island.
Anyone interested in seeing the full results can click on the title for the link. Anyone with any sensible theories let me know!