Manx Football Blog 3: Google it...
The Blog turns to Google in an attempt to predict this season’s Canada Life Premier League champions
IF you type the phrase ‘Champions’ into Google (other search engine are available) not unsurprisingly links to numerous websites leap forth onto your screen clambering eagerly for the attention of your mouse pointer.
If you type ‘Canada Life Premier League champions 2013’ into the aforementioned, Google, like me, seems a tad stumped in coming up with a conclusive result. (Not surprising really as they won’t be crowned for another eight months or so and, luckily for the global betting industry, Google can’t, as yet, predict the future, but go with it - I was struggling for a Blog ‘theme’.) Picking a winner doesn’t seem quite as clear-cut as it did just seven short weeks ago.
After this weekend, however, the answer may become a tad clearer with two of those – Laxey and St George’s - that are likely to finish at the top-flight’s summit jostling it out at Glen Road.
Saturday’s hosts Laxey have made a solid start to the season and currently sit atop the fledgling standings having only dropped two points along the way.
The form of strikers Mark Wolfenden and Ashley Webster has been little short of red hot and the pair will once again be Steve Falconer’s men’s dangermen this weekend, with rumours Webster has returned back from the holiday that threatened to rule him out of the match with last season’s Grand Slam winners.
While the Miners’ attack has sparkled and drawn many of the Examiner’s headlines, question remarks remain over the side’s back four, having conceded 10 goals in five games. This will need to be tightened up if the boys from Glen Road are to emerge victors on Saturday, let alone top of the search results come May.
Opponents St George’s chances of retaining the impressive Premier League trophy for a third successive year shouldn’t be discounted either. In a strange way the defeat against Rushen a couple of weeks ago that ended the Glencrutchery Road club’s unbeaten epoch has taken a little of the pressure off Chris Bass Sr’s men. During the back-to-back wins over DHSOB and Corinthians, there were glimpses of the vibrancy that saw them sweep all before them last term. Another victory this weekend would put Geordies’ title bid well and truly on track and send a warning shot to all those who want to wrestle the crown off them.
Aside from the above Peel and St Mary’s are more than capable of throwing their hat into the mix for the divisional crown. The westerners impressed in their victory over the Saints at the Bowl last weekend, but looked a bit light on quality in the final third with the mercurial Daniel Bell struggling with a knee injury. This might be remedied by an unlikely source with Rushen marksman Josh Kelly rumoured to be trying to clinch a move between the Old Firm pair after deciding his footballing future lies away from Croit Lowey. Any impending transfer will hinge on whether he can get ‘surplus to requirement’ status from the Spaniards. Having scored for United’s combi last week the move might not be as clear-cut as first thought.
St Mary’s, who up to the weekend’s defeat had the Premier League’s only 100 per cent record, will still harbour desires of silverware. Sam Kenny’s charges lacked a few experienced heads against Peel last week, but will undoubtedly feature among the division’s higher spots if Bowl outfit’s young squad continues to develop together.
With St John’s, Rushen and Corinthians also capable of pulling off a ‘result’ on their day, this season’s Premier League title race has the potential to be the closest for years and may keep me and Google guessing for some months to come yet.
Big Brother’s Little Brother
THINGS are just as tight at the top in JCK Division Two with three teams currently leading the way on 12 points. Barney Kelly’s Michael have the only 100 per cent in men’s senior football after four wins on the bounce. Just behind them come Colby and in-form Foxdale, the southerners facing early pacesetters RYCOB this week at the Station Fields. Victory for the latter would put them back in the mix to bounce back up to the Premier League after relegation last season. Below them Ayre, Onchan and Douglas Royal have the potential to put behind them poor starts and charge back up the standings. Could this be the most open promotion race for years?
Right you horrible lot – there’ll be Twitter updates galore on @manxfootyblog from the big match at Glen Road and from Rushen v St Mary’s in the Costa Del Port Erin.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South west