Key games for bottom two

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AN archetypal six-pointer takes place at Balleira Road this weekend as Michael and Gymns do battle to extend their stay Canada Life Premier League for another season.

Gymns and bottom side Douglas Royal currently sit in the top-flight’s ejector seats, with the latter’s fate of a return to JCK Division Two all but sealed.

The Tromode outfit’s survival hopes also look bleak, but a margin of five points to safety is not unachievable especially when you consider the side directly above them are the westerners.

A win on Saturday would put Kieron Iveagh’s Tromode outfit within striking distance of the Aces who crucially have played one more game than their opponents from the capital.

Both rank within the league’s lowest scorers, but turned that stat on its head by producing an 11-goal thriller in the reverse fixture which United just managed to win 5-6.

Now whether we’ll get 11 goals again on Saturday is doubtful, but the game is likely to be equally close and calling a winner is a tough one especially when you consider the similar recent form of both sides.

Saturday’s encounter should make for compelling viewing and come 4.15pm we should have a much clearer idea about who will be still invited to Manx football’s top table next season.

As mentioned, Royal could find their long-expected relegation confirmed if Michael claim a point or Brian Cowin’s side don’t get anything from their penultimate game of the league season with St Mary’s.

The Saints warmed up for Saturday’s game with a 7-1 FA Cup win over Castletown last weekend and should be firm favourites to hammer home the final nail in Royal’s Premier League coffin.

Town aren’t completely clear of the murky relegation waters and they will be eager to bounce back from last week’s heavy quarter-final defeat with something from their trip to in-form Ramsey. This will be easier said than done for Stuart Butterworth’s young charges, with the northerners enjoying a rich vein of form that saw them go through the month of February unbeaten.

At the table’s summit DHSOB will be hoping to keep the pressure up on title challengers St George’s with three points from their trip to Ayre.

The Andreaas outfit have proven tricky opponents on occasion this campaign, but with Colin Purvis’s Blackberry Lane outfit still riding high after last week’s cup win over Geordies, you’d have to expect them to return south with the points.

With St George’s not in action, Peel can move into second with victory over mid-table Corinthians. The Whites have the ability to spring a surprise, but you’d favour the westerners who are unbeaten at Douglas Road this term.

The day’s final game could be a cracker with Laxey taking on reinging champions Rushen. The Spaniards won the reverse fixture 2-1 and another tight encounter should be on the cards.

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