Jersey Reds boss Harvey Biljon has praised his side’s fortitude after scoring a last-minute try with 13 men as they beat Coventry 22-15 in their opening Championship fixture.
Having seen Mark Best and Auguy Slowik sin-binned Jersey won a scrum penalty, kicked to the corner and drove Nic Dolly over from the resulting line-out.
Two Greg Dyer tries and one from Luc Jones saw Jersey lead 17-9.
But two Rory Jennings’s penalties put Coventry close before Dolly’s score.
“A fair bit of guts needed to be shown by our players, make no mistake,” Biljon told BBC Radio Jersey.
“We did invite a fair bit of pressure on ourselves with a fair amount of ill-discipline, which we’ve got to get right.
“But we made some brave decisions today and that’ll pay dividends because we went away and were able to maximise points.”
Biljon was keen to praise his side’s defence as the visitors failed to score a try despite Jersey having three men yellow-carded during the match.
“It wasn’t comfortable,” he said. “We were under pressure, they had a fair amount of possession and I think we had two opportunities in their half in the second half and thankfully we were able to take points.
“The Coventry squad – that’s some squad that they’ve put together, it’s a team that are going to be top three or top four, and it shows just how much character we’ve had to produce to get that result.”
A 20m (65ft) long replica Neolithic longhouse built with the “hard work” of 140 volunteers has won an Association of Heritage Interpretation (AHI) award.
The building in Jersey was given the Discover Heritage Award after being shortlisted in the Volunteer and Community Projects category.
Jersey Heritage said it was “delighted” to receive the “prestigious” award.
The longhouse took almost two years to build and opened to the public in March.
It was constructed using authentic Neolithic techniques, including mud daubing, thatching and bark-stripping.
Julia Coutanche, Jersey Heritage’s volunteers co-ordinator, said: “Congratulations and a huge thank you to all our volunteers who spent nearly two years building the Neolithic longhouse, and to those who continue to be involved in the project.
“Without their hard work, this wonderful building for learning, interpretation and experimental archaeology at La Hougue Bie would not be possible.”
The AHI awards takes place every two years and recognises outstanding cultural and natural heritage interpretation in Britain and Ireland.
The Church of England in the Channel Islands is set to become part of the Diocese of Salisbury.
The islands’ 500-year-old relationship with the Winchester diocese was changed in 2014 due to safeguarding concerns.
It followed a dispute between the then Dean of Jersey and the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester.
Winchester retained oversight and legal responsibility for administrative affairs with the Canterbury diocese taking over other areas.
A report into the relationship between the Channel Islands and the wider church has made seven recommendations, including updating laws about female bishops and safeguarding and appointing local lawyers to supply independent legal advice.
The ease of travel – with air links to Southampton and a ferry to Poole – and that the Salisbury and Winchester dioceses share legal services, allowing knowledge and experience to be retained, were among the reasons given for the move of diocese.
The roles of bishop and dean, and between diocese and deanery to be clarified by a Memorandum of Understanding
The 2012 Jersey Canons should be revised to establish a set of amendments that would address such areas as clergy discipline, the role of the dean, safeguarding and women bishops
Appropriately qualified Jersey and Guernsey advocates should be appointed as Deputy Diocesan Registrars to provide independent legal advice to the Bishop and Dean
Canonical provisions for the Deanery of Guernsey should be reviewed with updates drafted or modified Church of England Canons applied
The Bishop and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure 2014 and the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 should be extended to the islands as soon as practicable
Simpler process for adopting Church of England measures on the islands should be introduced
The Deaneries of Guernsey and Jersey should in future be attached to the Diocese of Salisbury.
The report pointed out there were historical connections between the islands and diocese as early as 1496 when “the then Pope sought to establish a connection, and that the first bishop to visit the islands was Bishop John Fisher of Salisbury in 1818”.
The move could come into effect in late 2020 but first approval would be needed from the General Synod, as well as consent from Parliament and the approval of both islands’ States to send the measures to the Privy Council to approve the needed changes in legislation.
Bishop Dakin said: “I welcome the proposal for the island deaneries to be given a fresh start with the Diocese of Salisbury. I remain committed to the flourishing of the churches in the Islands.”
Dean of Jersey, the Very Reverend Mike Keirle, said: “We thank the Diocese of Winchester for their care over the years and… we look forward to building new relationships with the wider Church of England and to the future flourishing of the Church in Jersey”.
The Dean of Guernsey, Tim Barker, said: “We look forward to exploring with the Bishop of Salisbury and his colleagues the development of our mission and ministry in Guernsey.”
Timeline of diocese split
March 2013 – Commission withdrawn for the Very Reverend Bob Key, the Dean of Jersey, by the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin over concerns about his handling of a parishioner’s complaint about abuse in 2008.
August 2013 – Concerns are raised by Anglican church members in the Channel Islands about their relationship with the Church of England.
November 2013 – Inquiry into the handling of the complaint recommends no disciplinary action should be taken against any Jersey Anglican clergy member and finds no evidence of wrongdoing by Dean Key. The final report is kept confidential on legal advice.
January 2014 – The breakdown of relations between Dean Key and Bishop Dakin leads to the Archbishop of Canterbury temporarily moving oversight of the islands to the Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, who is based in the Diocese of Canterbury.
January 2015 – Details of interim arrangement released with Winchester retaining oversight of legal matters with appointments overseen by the Bishop of Dover as well as finance, ministry and training and safeguarding.
May 2019 – Mr Willmott retires but keeps oversight of the Channel Islands as an Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Winchester.
It criticised a perceived lack of action to tackle the “Jersey way”.
Sir William Bailhache said the comments were “unfair criticism” to his office.
The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Panel’s 2017 report focused on Haut de la Garenne and Les Chenes, which were at the centre of decades of abuse in the island’s child care system.
The panel said the “Jersey way” was sometimes used “in a positive way to describe a strong culture of community and voluntary involvement”.
However, it said the phrase was also used to describe a system where “serious issues are swept under the carpet” and “people escape being held to account for abuses perpetrated”.
While it did not directly reference the bailiff’s dual role in 2017 it did suggest “further consideration” be given to the findings of the earlier Clothier and Carswell reports which recommended the separation of the judicial and legislative roles.
In its final report last month, the panel said it was “concerned” by the decision, describing it as “a further indication of a failure to recognise the importance of these systems, having evident impartiality and full transparency at their heart”.
Speaking in his last States meeting as presiding officer, Sir William, who has served as Bailiff since 2015, said criticism of the dual roles was based on “pre-conceived notions and prejudices”.
He added the inquiry “took not a scrap of evidence” from the witnesses “who might be thought to know something about the island’s constitution and the way in which the dual role was managed”.
He also rejected a link made by the panel between allegations of lack of fairness and transparency in decision-making over historic child abuse by the bailiff, describing it as a “grave error”.
She was diagnosed after January’s International Quad Series.
“I kind of rolled out of bed for the game, then would roll back into bed for a few more days,” Guthrie told BBC Sport.
“It made me realise how much I’d been pushing myself to get to the level that I wanted to get to.”
Guthrie, a 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, also missed parts of the domestic Superleague season.
Guthrie, who won four titles with Team Bath in an eight-year spell from 2007, left Australian side Giants to rejoin her first club for the 2019 campaign, but was diagnosed shortly after.
“I have quite a holistic approach to my netball life anyway, but it wasn’t great in a World Cup year to get that news,” she said.
“We weren’t very sure what was wrong with me. It just looked like I was really sick.
“I wasn’t feeling myself after it either and I took myself to the doctor’s. I thought it was a cold and that I’d be fine, but I went to get some blood tests because there was something that didn’t feel quite right.
“I was diagnosed with a reactivation of glandular fever and I thought, ‘that explains it a bit!’.
“In the next, at least 10-12 rounds, I was out of the Superleague. I only came back between rounds 12 and 14, so I had quite a substantial time out prior to the World Cup.”
‘Thank God for Netflix!’
England beat South Africa in the play-off to claim bronze at the World Cup, having lost by two goals against New Zealand in the semi-finals.
“I’d been asked to be captain and I wasn’t really around the team as much as I would have liked to have been,” Guthrie said.
“I didn’t want to make a big song and dance about it.
“I just wanted to make sure I was doing the best I could to recover for it prior to World Cup selection. It was about rest and recovery, listening to the sport’s medical team.
“It was real rest. It wasn’t just one bike ride a day or anything – it was genuine rest, so it was quite tough for me to be going from doing full-time training, working and everything like that and enjoying my life to absolutely nothing, so thank God for Netflix!”
Guthrie played in all 11 of England’s matches during the tournament.
She added: “It did cross my mind whether I would be able to step out there and be the Serena that everyone – and myself – expects me to be, but when I got into it everyone was pretty calm, and it helps when you’ve got people who believe in you.
“It’s amazing how much you can push yourself through something when you don’t know what it is that you’ve actually got.”
‘The demands of the game are so intense’
Since the World Cup, Guthrie has taken a break from playing to “rest and recover” as she focuses on “off-court opportunities”.
“The demands of the game, they’re so intense and it never stops,” she said.
“It is very much just about me taking some time to get myself back into a position where I can physically and mentally get back into netball.
“I’ll be in and around the Superleague environment – from meeting sponsors to helping out with fan engagement, doing meet-and-greets.”
Although she expects to relinquish the England captaincy, she said the national team have been “very supportive” and “want me back in the fold as soon as I would like”.
She added: “I’ll have that discussion with them and go from there.
“It’s obviously a hard decision to choose to take yourself away physically from something that I absolutely love, but it feels like the right time for me to do this at that beginning of a four-year cycle.”