What links a hail shower, the Vets League and the wonderful institution of marriage? The latest Manx Football Blog of course...
THE Manx Football Blog endured a game of four seasons at Tromode on Saturday, as Gymns’ battle to beat the Premier League drop took a blow against in-form Ramsey.
Some pleasant early spring sunshine made for a welcome change to the recent downpours and gales that usually seem to hover over the island of a weekend.
However, my magic metrological moment was soon dashed as, on the second half’s resumption, the rain and hail (yes hail) swept across the Cronkbourne playing fields leaving me once again cursing the lack of heated and covered press boxes on the island.
Aside from the atmospheric diversions the football offered an intriguing if not stunning match, with the hosts aiming for some much-needed points for their top-flight survival fund.
A bobbly pitch didn’t help either side but caught out resident centre-back Farrell Iveagh in spectacular fashion in the eighth minute when he sliced one of Ramsey’s prodigal sons, Jonny Shield’s, cross from the right into his own net.
Gymns battled back well to equalise through David Rees’s looped header, but again found themselves behind when midfielder Danny Foulis fired home.
The Tromode outfit matched their opponents from the north for most of the encounter, but underlined their lack of cutting edged in the final third of the pitch by passing up several good chances.
Ramsey took full advantage – former Michael man Jamie Moffatt netting twice in the game’s latter stages to seal the three points for the Ballacloan outfit. Rees hit a second consolation in injury time from the penalty spot, but it was too little too late for the hosts who are beginning to run out of time in their great escape bid.
The match perfectly underlined the value of a goalscorer. Since Ciaran McNulty’s much-publicised summer transfer to St George’s Kieron Iveagh’s men have badly missed his goals and have slumped from the mid-table position they occupied last term.
Nick Bowden seemed to be offering a solution, finding a rich vein of form as the season enters its final furlong, but he was sidelined for the weekend’s encounter by injury.
By contrast Ramsey, who have missed the talents of a goal getter for several campaigns, seem to have finally found a hot shot in the form of 17-goal man Moffatt.
His goals, along with the emergence of several young talents at the Ballacloan outfit, have galvanized Dave Perry and Ray Rowley’s side’s position within the top-flight. Indeed, the attraction of a few more experienced players in the close-season could see the northerners emerge as surprise top-four contenders next term.
Form is temporary…
Right now I’ve kyboshed Ramsey’s potential with the legendary Dalrymple Punditry Kiss of Death, time to turn our attentions to the mysterious and rarely reported world of the Veterans’ League.
Those of you who study the Examiner’s Videprinter section in detail will have noted some quite astonishing scorelines being posted by the island’s vintage players. However, it is not St Mary’s recent 10-5 win over Ronaldsway that we are to discuss today.
On Sunday pre-season favourites Peel were narrowly defeated by table toppers Ayre 3-2 in Andreas.
What the Videprinter didn’t tell you was that the western wonders’ front two had a combined age of 97 with former first team manager Rick Holden, 46, pairing up with the combination coach Sam Brown, 51 in the final third of the pitch. Sam underlined the theory that ‘class is permanent’ by joining the considerably younger Chris Hawke on the scoresheet in the narrow reverse.
Can any other veterans’ side boast a frontline of such antique pedigree? Email the firstname.lastname@example.org with your tales of the decrepit now.
Mr and Mrs
Continuing with Manx football oddities, I have another question to pose to the masses. Stuart Christian and better half Gill Christian both found the back of the net for Corinthians and Gymns respectively at the weekend – are they the first married couple to trouble the scorers in the same weekend?
Email the email@example.com to confirm or deny my whim. Also feel free to emither any other unqiue scoring feats to the same address.
Right that’s it for this week’s electronic memoir. I, like several others, will be immersing myself in the Cu-Plas FA Cup this weekend when I make the trek to St John’s for their quarter-final with Laxey.
Click back next week to find out what occurred…