It took six late second-half goals, during an absorbing contest with Alderney to help the Isle of Man men’s football team collect a second successive victory in the NatWest Island Games on Monday.
Despite the convincing 7-0 final scoreline against a brave Channel Island outfit, the game itself was little short of remarkable.
A single goal separated the two teams at the break, but the main talking point during the interval was the resilient manner in which Alderney defended.
Time and time again, Alderney players put their bodies on the line to prevent goal-abound efforts from the Manx side and they were ably assisted by a superb goalkeeping display from the redoubtable keeper Jamie Laband.
The only goal of the opening half came from a Lee Gale corner, which was solidly converted from the head of debut boy Dominic McGreevy, the latter producing a highly-impressive performance alongside 75-cap man Johnny Myers in the Manx defence.
After the restart, Nick Hurt’s side continued to create chances with efforts from Frank Jones, McGreevy, Gale and Myers all going desperately close.
It then began to look as if the Isle of Man were running out of ideas, in front of goal, but the introduction of substitutes Conor Doyle and Ashley Webster transformed the game.
Suddenly, with 18 minutes remaining, Webster pounced to double the lead netting after referee Sam Ward allowed advantage when a defender had handled the ball.
Then, following a fine effort from the exciting Chris Bass Jr that was well saved by the keeper, Webster cashed in to net the rebound.
With the Manx side in full flow, Webster nipped in to complete his hat-trick by smartly converting a well-delivered Doyle corner to give the Isle of Man a 4-0 lead.
There was simply no stopping the Manx side and with just minutes remaining, Hurt’s men took full advantage of a tiring Alderney defence to net three goals in the final two minutes.
Firstly, Bass and Webster combined allowing the in form Bass to add a well-deserved strike for their fifth. Doyle then showed his class by netting a sixth with consummate aplomb.
Then, in the final moment, Sam Caine completed the scoring with another smart finish to leave a totally satisfying score-line.
IOM v Alderney: Dayman Petkov, Liam Cowin, Johnny Myers, Dominic McGreevy, Marc Kelly, Lee Gale, Frank Jones (Capt.), Jack McVey (Conor Doyle 68m), Chris Bass Jnr, Ciaran McNulty (Sam Caine 85m), Josh Kelly (Ashley Webster 68m)