Laxey maintained their outside chance of collecting this season’s Canada Life Premier League title with a highly significant victory over close rivals St Mary’s at the Bowl on Saturday.
The game, however, failed to live up to its billing and only sprang into life during the second half after the visitors struck early which helped promote a much more exciting second 45 minutes.
Steve Falconer’s side made an impressive start to the contest and it was the busy Nigel Beattie that created the first opportunity which he sent over the cross-bar.
As the half progressed both sides struggled to create chances and both were guilty of sending passes astray. Midway through the half keeper Max Thomas helped keep the home side in the game with a fine save from another Beattie effort, the ball being finally scrambled clear.
Sam Kenny’s side worked their way into the game but the well-organised Laxey defence restricted the efforts on Andy Perry’s goal.
The visitors made another impressive start to the second period and took a deserved lead after just four minutes when Jackson Brown took full advantage of a fine ball from defence before opening the scoring in style.
The Saints responded by stepping up a gear but the Laxey back-four of Gary Williams, Neil Brogan, Sam Theobald and Andrew Falconer allowed the normally formidable home attack very little time on the ball.
Then midway through at the other end a well-flighted corner dropped to the feet of the alert Mark Wolfenden who took full advantage to double the lead.
The goal prompted the Saints to enjoy their best spell of the game and the busy Karl Clark struck a fine effort from inside the box which drew an equally fine save from keeper Perry.
The Laxey custodian was soon in action again, this time denying a well-struck free-kick from a somewhat subdued Steven Priestnal. With the Saints on top, Brian Crellin delivered an inviting cross into the box only to see midfielder Tom Weir head over the cross-bar.
The home side, though were finally rewarded three minutes from time when Priestnal guided a cleverly taken free-kick home with the aid of an upright.
It turned out to be a mere consolation and at the other end substitute Josh Thomas came close to adding a third for Laxey but his superb effort was cleverly pushed over the bar by keeper Max Thomas.
St Mary’s: Max Thomas, James Murphy, Martin Reilly, Dominic McGreevy, Karl Clark, Harry Weatherill, Tom Weir, Connor Gorman, Steven Priestnal, Brian Crellin, Stephen Whitley (Marc Priestnal)
Laxey: Andy Perry, Gary Williams, Neil Brogan, Sam Theobald, Andrew Falconer (Ryan Williamson), Paul Rowley, Nigel Beattie, Jackson Brown, Ashley Webster, Mark Wolfenden, Johnny Callow (Josh Thomas)
Referee: David Murphy
Assistants: Alan Cowin and Stuart Kneen
Man of the Match: Sam Theobald (Laxey) - lively and effective game in the Miners back four
Match rating: HHHII Attendance: 105