RAIDERS NAMED GUERNSEY’S BEST TEAM OF 2018
Winning team of the year for 2018 could be just the lift Raiders need as they make the long journey to Redruth for their first away game of 2019.
Jordan Reynolds’ men endured a torrid end to the last calendar year but winning the prestigious Team of the Year award at Thursday evening’s Guernsey Sports Commission Awards at Beau Sejour was fantastic recognition for all the great things achieved at the back end of last season, which will go down as one of the most memorable in the club’s 100-plus-year history.
With the vast majority of the squad outside at KGV preparing for the Redruth game, it was left to Tom Ceillam, alongside Matt Creber and Anthony Armstrong to pick up the award from Guernsey football legend Matt Le Tissier.
Even before the award was announced, Reynolds was speaking positively about getting a result at Redruth and bringing to an end a sorry run of defeats which now stretches back 11 games.
‘We have performed really well in our last two league matches and they are on a losing streak themselves, so it should be a good game,’ said the coach who welcomes back Douglas Horrocks to the starting side and is also able to give a first start this campaign to fly half Owen Thomas.
While the latter got a good 40 minutes on his return last week, Horrocks was away in Sierra Leone on work business. He will catch up with the side this afternoon when they fly into Exeter and his presence is a big plus.
‘He is a good attacking player as well as defender with lots of experience to give what is a fairly young back row.’ said the coach.
His return is timely as Matt Thomas who started in his place last week is now out injured.
The other significant change to the side that started against Bury St Edmunds sees a Harry Baron start at hooker.
Tom Ceillam’s travel arrangements means, unlike the team that fly out Friday afternoon, he does not leave the island till match day and he is likely to miss much of the pre-game warm ups.
He will be in the bench.
As for Harry Baron, Reynolds said :‘You can see there is a very good player in there, but he needs to build up his match fitness. He is coming along after missing a huge amount of rugby with a groin injury.’
As for Owen Thomas, his selection will allow Elia Morisio to move to centre where Reynolds has long seen him as best suited.
‘Elia was our player of the match last week for his performance at centre. He linked well with Owen and that was great to see.’
1. Cameron Craine
2. Harry Baron
3. Layton Batiste
4. Lewis Hillier (c)
5. Nick Merrien
6. George Shannon
7. Dom Rice
8. Douglas Horrocks
9. Owen Clemett
10. Owen Thomas
11. Chris Ahne
12. Elia Morisio
13. Luke Jones
14. Daley Aremu
15. Anthony Armstrong
16. Sam Steventon
17. Tom Ceillam (vc)
18. Matt Creber
19. Nico Alexandre
20. Callum Gladstone