Three Jersey Learning Disability 5-a-side football squads took part in the 2018 George Best Community Cup, organized by the Irish Football Association, supported by the Mary Peters Trust.
Played on grass at the Billy Neill Centre of Excellence, nearly sixty teams from Ireland and the UK took part, some representing league clubs.
The Jersey teams had mixed results, having had to adapt to the different conditions and larger pitches than those on which they train.
All the results below, and a photo gallery showing some of the highlights of this 2-day tournament.
Jersey A 0 - 3 Sutton United
Jersey A 3 - 1 Solihull
Jersey A 2 - 2 Grove
Jersey A 0 - 3 Skem-men
The Jersey A's first game was against a strong Sutton United team and although Jersey did create a couple of scoring opportunities, they spent most of the game defended their goal and the more experienced opposition won comfortably.
The Jersey team lifted themselves for the second game against Solihull, despite conceding the first goal. They fought back and playing some good football, deservedly won the game.
The third game against Grove saw both Seb Leonard and Jordan Gautier scoring quality goals in the first half. Grove’s large squad allowed them to make a number of substitutions and their different team applied constant pressure. Despite stout defending and some excellent saves by Scott Graham in the Jersey goal, Grove score twice and the game ended in a draw. The final game was against Skem-men, the eventual winners of the band level, and a tired Jersey team were well beaten.
Jersey B 1 - 0 Crusaders
Jersey B 2 - 0 Bradford C
Jersey B 1 - 0 Leek Town B
Jersey B 0 - 0 Millgreen
Jersey B 1 - 0 NUFC
Jersey B 1 - 0 VicHants
Jersey B 1 - 3 Wrexham B
The ability 4 group leagues saw Jersey B and C teams placed in different leagues, each having to play six games of eight minutes each. Jersey B played consistently well in all their games with each player playing their part and they went undefeated and did not concede a goal.
With Jersey B topping their group, they when through to the semi-final knock out game, against Wrexham B. After an exciting start to the game which saw both sides hitting the frame work Wrexham broke the deadlock but just before half time a precise pass from Malcolm Motie enabled Ryan Le Monnier to beat the opposition’s defense and slot in the equalizer.
The second half was end to end but Jersey missed their chances of scoring and Wrexham scored twice to put Jersey out of the competition. Wrexham went on to win the ability level final and because Jersey had won their group, they were awarded third position.
Jersey C 0 - 1 Buzz Hub
Jersey C 0 - 3 Charlton
Jersey C 1 - 2 Coleraine
Jersey C 0 - 1 CSP
Jersey C 0 - 0 Bradford
Jersey C 0 - 2 S. Tynes
With one of the Jersey C players unfortunately badly spraining his ankle, the remaining five players had to battle through all of the games and struggled against some very able and physical teams. Unfortunately they did not win any games but the majority were close matches and the highlight was a move involving all the players that resulted in Ryan Jones finding the back of the oppositions net against Coleraine.
All the coaches were very pleased with the performance of their players and it was difficult to choose the best player awards for each team, but David Collingwood, Charlie Quenault (both making their debuts with the squad) and Chris Green of the A, B and C teams respectively were selected for their overall contribution and effort across the two days. James Lang was also presented with an award for sportsmanship.
The Jersey teams would like to thank the Sir James Knott Trust for their continued financial support, which is essential if they are going to have the opportunity to travel and play against other teams.
The squad trains every Tuesday evening at Les Ormes between 5.45 and 7.15 and anyone interested in taking part should contact Gary Norman on 879033.
For further details please contact:
Paul Patterson MBE