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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Saturday, 28 May 2011 18:14 UK

Jersey beat Loughborough in play-off final


Jersey beat Loughborough Students 30-5 in National One play-off

Jersey have gained promotion to National League One after beating Loughborough Students 30-5 in their play-off match at St Peter.

Two Michael le Bourgeois penalties and an unconverted James Copsey try gave the home side an 11-0 half-time lead.

Forward Nathan Hannay crashed over for two tries early in the second half before Ed Rolston pulled one back.

But winger Dave Doherty went over in the final minute to clinch the victory and promotion to National One.

Jersey coach Ben Harvey told BBC Jersey: "When these guys put their marker down and work hard the island gets behind them.

"Lets get a crowd like that for every game of next season.

"We played to our strengths and made sure we kept the balls with our forwards.

"We tried to move the ball around. We weren't as accurate as we would have liked to have been.

The commitment of the guys today was unbelievable

Jersey chairman Bill Dempsey

"But that was a very good Loughborough side, I was very impressed by them."

Loughborough Students head coach Dave Morris added: "I'm gutted for a number of reasons. We were desperate to try and get promoted.

"But also the nature of university is that there are some very special young men who've played their last game in a Loughborough shirt.

"We knew that Jersey are a big, big side and very powerful. We've got no complaints. The scoreboard doesn't lie, Jersey very much deserved their victory."

Le Bourgeois settled Jersey's nerves with two penalties in the first 10 minutes in front of a 3,000 crowd - the second from the half way line, before Copsey raced down the right wing and dived into the corner.

Jersey's pack, which was strong throughout, caught Loughborough off guard at the beginning of the second half as Nathan Hannay was pushed over near the posts.

The Leicestershire student team, which lost out at the same stage last year to Rosslyn Park, conceded a similar try five minutes later as Hannay was again pushed over.

Jersey hooker David Felton was sin-binned for an infringement in a ruck.

It allowed Loughborough's Ed Rolston to take advantage of the extra man and run in on the left wing.

But Jersey never looked in any danger of being pegged back and, when Cornish Pirates-bound Dave Doherty raced over right at the end, Jersey's players and fans went delirious.

Man of the match John Brennan is embraced by his father after the game
Man of the match John Brennan is embraced by his father after the game

The victory sealed a third promotion in four years for the island side.

Chairman Bill Dempsey said: "It is just unbelievable. When you look around the ground today and noise that came from it, I'd never been at a match and heard the noise like that.

"The commitment of the guys today was unbelievable.

"Loughborough were not a bad team, they were a very good team but we possibly did make them look ordinary in the second half."

Jersey prop John Brennan was voted man of the match.

"It's been a journey. There's only a couple of us who've been there from the start," said Brennan, who first played for Jersey in 2003.

"We've risen from a real amateur level due to changes that have come through.

"We've come up so far, we've responded to those changes, and we don't know where it's going to end."

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