Siam Cup 2017: Jersey Reds 20-18 Guernsey Raiders

Jersey Reds v Guernsey Raiders 2017
Guernsey last won the Siam Cup in 2008 but came close to getting their hands back on the trophy in wet conditions at St Peter

Guernsey full-back Kenny Hellier saw his tricky last-kick conversion go wide, as Jersey won the Siam Cup for the ninth year in a row.

Hellier, who had earlier hit the post with a penalty, struck his equalising effort agonisingly past the left post.

Tries from Karl Haitana and Sam Fuller had put the Reds in front going into the closing stages.

But Tom Ceillam and Cameron Craine both scored late on to set up a tense finale.

Both sides went into the game on the back of their highest-ever finishes in the English rugby pyramid, with Guernsey finishing fifth in National Three London and Jersey narrowly missing out on the Championship play-offs.

Jersey's Siam Cup dominance
2016 - Guernsey 19-33 Jersey
2015 - Jersey 48-3 Guernsey
2014 - Guernsey 7-38 Jersey
2013 - Jersey 41-8 Guernsey
2012 - Guernsey 0-29 Jersey
2011 - Jersey 73-5 Guernsey
2010 - Guernsey 0-36 Jersey
2009 - Jersey 34-6 Guernsey

Hellier, on his first Siam Cup appearance, put the Raiders ahead with a well-struck penalty, but could not double the advantage when his long-range effort bounced off the post and wide.

He could not have known it at the time, but it turned out to be the difference between Guernsey winning a first Siam Cup since 2008 and not.

Former New Zealand youth international Haitana got the opening try for the home side, making the most of a scrappy line-out to power over and help Jersey to a hard-fought 7-3 half-time lead.

Jersey, who had just three of their professionals in their squad because of eligibility restrictions, were reduced to 14 men on three occasions with Nick Trower, Charlie Clyde-Smith and Donavan Sanders all given yellows.

But, they were 20-6 in front when centre Sanders found Fuller wide on the left for a breakaway score.

Guernsey, though, still had hopes of a late comeback against their rivals and belief was boosted further when Craine went over from close range.

With Sanders off the pitch for a deliberate knock-on, the Raiders had one last chance and hooker Ceillam found a way through in the corner to leave Hellier with the awkward conversion which he pulled just wide of the left post.

Jersey also won the second-team encounter between the islands 43-21, while Guernsey took the women's Siam 43-0 and the veterans fixture 19-10.

Jersey Reds: Kaye; Newton, Sanders, McClurg, Fuller; Dudley (capt), Jeffrey; Pople, Selway, Haitana, Tilstone, Simeon, Rennison, Voss, Trower.

Replacements: Felton, Carter, Spencer, Clyde-Smith, Glendening, Turner, McCrea.

Guernsey Raiders: Hellier; Whitehead, Campbell, Brown, Jones; Thomas, Nixon; Steventon, Ceillam, Batiste, Hillier (capt), Merrien, Mercadal, Martin, Hill.

Replacements: Craine, Skovronek, Rice, Ryan, Barnes, Armstrong, Davison.

Attendance: 2,223

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