Match Reports

Jersey Reds 71 Caldy 14


The Reds showed their ruthless streak in scoring 11 tries to overwhelm their visitors from the north-west of England.

Making the most of a strong set piece and defying a trio of yellow cards, the Island side racked up their highest tally of points in a Championship game, exceeding the previous high of 66 achieved away at Coventry in March 2022.

A fast start from the home side saw Steve Longwell cross from close range within two minutes, but Caldy came straight back and earned a penalty try when a maul collapsed, with James Dun identified as the culprit and banished to the sin-bin.

The home side then went down to 13 when Sean O’Connor tired of an opponent's neck-grip at a maul, lifted his adversary away from the breakdown and was adjudged to have dropped him dangerously on his back, thereby joining Dun in the bin.

Not only did the Reds keep a clean sheet for the 17 minutes in which they were short of players, but they scored twice, with James Mitchell having the simplest job of touching down an overthrown lineout and then Tomi Lewis jinking through superbly when he seemed to have nowhere to go.

O’Connor’s return saw him claim lineout ball that led to a mauled try in front of the big screen for Eoghan Clarke, Dun added a fifth and then Alex McHenry raced through after Longwell’s perfectly-timed flat pass before Elliot Gourlay crossed for the visitors’ second in the final play of a frenetic first half that didn’t contain a single scrum.

The tempo barely dropped in the second period with McHenry twice more showing his finishing skills and ability to be in the right place. Brendan Owen and Ben Woollett both assisted in his second try, while replacement Jordan Holgate gave the scoring pass for the hat-trick score (pictured above by Jacquie Ranieri).

Woollett dived acrobatically to finish in the corner and Toby Venner marked his league debut for the Reds by sprinting to the posts from Lewis’s pass. Replacement hooker James Hadfield was the other scorer after a maul rumbled 25 metres to the line.

Both sides had yellow cards in the second period after conceding several penalties, with Reds’ replacement Adam Nicol and Caldy skipper JJ Dickinson both sent to the sidelines, the latter's banishment the conclusion of a fractious rapport with the match officials.

The Reds conceded an estimated 12 penalties to 15 from their opponents, and the home side’s set-piece was in excellent working order, with no lineouts or scrums lost throughout the game.

“We wanted to concentrate on the basics today, and we were very ruthless,” Reds Backs Coach Tom Williams said after the game. “We had a good mix of tries from transition out of defence, from our own attacks and from mauls.”

A crowd of almost 1,300 included the lively presence of travelling supporters from the north-west, who had packed onto planes from Liverpool and Manchester and were estimated to be towards 400 in number. The ‘win-or-lose, on-the-booze’ motto was very much in evidence in the clubhouse and assorted other hostelries across Saturday evening.

Caldy Head Coach Matt Cairns said: “Credit to Jersey, they are a good team, and were very clinical and powerful – this is what you’d expect a full-time team to do against a side which trains twice a week.”

JERSEY REDS: Owen; Woolett, McHenry, Barnes (Holgate 56), Lewis: Bennett (Burnell 56), Mitchell (Venner 50); Grahamslaw (McGrath 50), Clarke (Hadfield 50), Longwell (Nicol 50), O’Connor, Cook, Grey, Wynne (c) (Gray 59), Dun (Everard h-t).

CALDY: Gourlay; Ryle, Bibby, Barlow (Barker 50), Cartmill (Beer 52); Hayes, Pilgrim (Murray 68); Aigbokhae (Sanderson 66), Hearn (Clarke 66), Darlington (Higginson 50), Dickinson S (Gerrard 56), Sanders, Crowe, Ridgway (Davidson 66), Dickinson J.

REFEREE: Jack Makepeace. Assistants: James Pidding, James Cornell.
Half Time: 40-14
Attendance: 1,271

Jersey Reds
Tries: Longwell 2, Mitchell 7, Lewis 16, Clarke 23, Dun 29, McHenry 32, 48, 70, Woollett 54, Hadfield 58, Venner 78
Conversions: Bennett 2, 8, 17, 30, 33, 49, Burnell 71, 78

Tries: Penalty try 5, Hearn 39
Conversion: Gourlay 40





12 Oct 2023


Why not come and chillout in the ‘Watering Hole’ before the game? A full-bar and food is available and you can enjoy some live music after the game.

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