Megan Wood

Ynys Mon 2019: Women book semi-final spot as men suffer cruel exit

Jersey's women beat Gibraltar 6-2 to reach the last four of the Inter-Island Games, but the men narrowly miss out.

Jersey's women secured a semi-final spot at the Inter-Island Games in Ynys Mon, with a superb 6-2 victory over Gibraltar in their decisive group game.

Both sides went into the match at Glantraeth knowing that a win would earn them a place in the last four against the hosts.

Megan Wood (pictured) gave Jersey the best possible start, firing in from long range after just 30 seconds. In a lively opening though, that lead was short-lived as Shania Robba pulled her side level on seven minutes.

Jersey's dominance of the match increased as the half wore on and a good passage of play was rewarded when Natasha Keen capitalised on a loose ball and calmly slotted in. Wood finished the half as she had started it, with a goal, slotting in from a tight angle to give Jersey a 3-1 advantage at the break.

Skipper Jodie Botterill drove in a fourth before the management team, led by Chad Morris, introduced Abi Scandrett and Sam Silva from the bench for their first outings of the tournament.

Midfielder Eve Watson's screamer made it 5-1 with 15 minutes still to go before substitute Rosie Corbett grabbed her second goal of the tournament, staying onside to net from close range.

Amy Tierney and Daisy Jackson were brought on for the closing stages, with Gibraltar captain Keshia Doody scooping in a late consolation. 

"Some of the girls were saying that it's some of the best football we've played in a while," said Jersey goalkeeper Sara Luce.

"We're strong as a team and strong mentally, so even in the first game we went behind and then we clawed it back, so we've got that mental strength to keep pressing and keep that intensity going.

"I was pleased to see Amy come on too, she works so hard in training, and it was great to see that pay off." 

Jersey will face hosts Ynys Mon in Wednesday evening's semi-finals, while Isle of Man take on Hitra in the other last-four fixture.

Meanwhile, Jersey's men suffered an agonising exit, missing out on a semi-final spot on the "goals scored" rule despite having netted 12 times in the first two group games.

A 1-0 loss to Ynys Mon left Martin Cassidy's side second in their group, and needing to be the best runners up across the tournament to claim the last place in the semi-finals.

With Jersey in the event's only group of four, the 7-0 triumph over fourth-placed Western Isles was scratched from the calculations to work out who went through. Therefore only the 5-0 win against Orkney and the defeat to the hosts counted, giving Jersey 3 points, a +4 goal difference and 5 goals scored. Cruelly, Group C runners-up Shetland Islands also had 3 points, a +4 goal difference but 7 goals scored.

The match against Ynys Mon, in front of a crowd of over 1,000, was equally as frustrating.  The home island went ahead after just eight minutes as Liam Morris' cross-come-shot was turned in for an own goal. Cassidy's men had most of the possession but could not break down a resolute Ynys Mon defence.

Jersey now take on Hitra on Thursday afternoon (2pm kick off) in the men's fifth-placed play-off.

Photo with thanks to Aled Jones.