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Saaremaa expose squad’s defensive frailties

Second best: the basketball team had to settle for silver this time around

Bermuda’s basketball team failed to defend their three consecutive gold medals in Jersey, losing to Saaremaa in disappointing fashion in the last day of competition.

After turning in a dominant performance in the group stage, the team headed into their toughest test against Saaremaa and were unable to play their game in an 80-69 defeat.

“Today’s game was a tough loss for us,” Steven Simons, one of the Bermuda captains, said.

“Credit to Saaremaa who were very disciplined and organised in their approach to the game. We got away from our defensive principles and they exploited that and made a good percentage of their shots.

“Defence is what we hang our hat on, it’s our identity and today we just weren’t good enough to win gold.”

Bermuda started with the lead but played poorly in the second half to lose the game and finish with silver.

“Sometimes you need a failure or a bump in the road in order for the team to progress and this will only fuel the fire for us,” Simons said. “We’ll be back hungrier than ever in 2017.”

In the golf, Bermuda’s men took bronze in the team event.

Will Haddrell shot 290 over the four-round competition to finish just one shot off the podium, tied in fifth. Damian Palanyandi and Mark Phillips shot 293 and 295, finishing seventh and ninth to give Bermuda three finishers in the top ten. Jarryd Dillas finished 31st with 325.

Tom Harris of Isle of Man took gold individually, shooting 280, and combined with his team-mates to win gold in the team event.

In the women’s competition Ebonie Burgess shot 86 in the final round to finish sixth. Elizabeth Parsons finished thirteenth, Katrin Burnie twentieth, and Linda Down twenty-fourth.

The women’s team finished fifth overall, with Jersey taking gold.

Adrienne Smatt broke into the medal column in shooting, winning silver in the Women’s 50m Prone Smallbore Rifle event in a very close finish. Smatt trailed winner Jehnny Gardelin of Gotland by less than a point, finishing with 595.3.

After a controversial end to the women’s Town Centre Criterium cycling event on Thursday night, the winners were finally announced yesterday. When the dust settled, Kim Ashton claimed gold for the host nation, while a Bermuda team of Gabriella Arnold, Karen Bordage, and Zoenique Williams claimed bronze in the team event.

Bermuda’s Deon Breary was ninth in the women’s 5,000 metres with a time of 19min 29.41sec. Gold went to Sarah Mercier of Guernsey in 17:03.75.

Bermuda’s men lost their bronze medal match in the volleyball 3-0 to Aland, going down 25-18, 25-14, 25-18.

Sun Life Financial were a lead sponsor for Bermuda’s team in Jersey, providing uniforms for more than 100 athletes.

“We would like to congratulate the athletes and teams who won a medal during the Island Games this week,” Andrew Darfoor, senior vice president and chief executive officer, said. “We want to acknowledge the entire Bermuda team who travelled to Jersey.”