WITH St George’s currently leading the way in the Canada Life Premier League, it is probably no surprise that one of their players tops the players ratings as the 2011-12 season slowly swings towards its business end.
As well as having already helped his side claim the Charity Shield and Railway Cup, the latter at the Bowl on Boxing Day, Ciaran McNulty holds a healthy three-point lead heading into the new year and looks well placed in the race for the Gordon Clague Football Writers’ Player of the Year award.
The former Gymns striker has been in fine form throughout the season thus far, particularly impressing during the months of August and October when he was named the Canada Life Player of the Month, and is also in the race for the golden boot which has helped earn him a score of 31.5 points.
In second place, three points behind, is another of Manx football’s brightest attacking stars in the shape of Peel playmaker Danny Bell and St John’s and Isle of Man stalwart Nick Hurt, both on 28.5.
Both players also excelled during October, while Bell has been instrumental in helping the Sunset City side recover from a poor start to the campaign while Saints player/manager Hurt has played a pivotal role in helping the Mullen-e-Cloie side establish themselves in midtable following their promotion from JCK Division Two.
Completing the top five are two players who are also in the hunt for the top goalscorer award: Rushen’s powerhouse forward Josh Kelly and DHSOB’s dangerman Callum Stewart. The attacking duo have tormented most of the defences in the league so far and have propelled their respective sides into the upper echelons of the league.
The man the aforementioned forwards are all hoping to overhaul in the race for the golden boot is St Marys’ Steven Priestnal who currently lies joint sixth in the player rankings alongside Laxey’s Ashley Webster. Although not likely to seriously challenge for the league title this year, the Saints have enjoyed a good season to date and are six points off the top as well as having reached the Railway Cup final where they agonisingly went down to an extra-time goal from former midfielder Frank Jones.
Priestnal has once again been one of the standout performers for the Bowl occupants while Webster has done likewise for the Miners, helping the Glen Road side up to fourth in the standings and well positioned to pose some threat to Geordies, along with Old Boys, in the race for the title.
The aformentioned Jones and his Glencrutchery Road team-mate Johnny Myers lie joint eight having played key roles in aiding their side’s title charge.
Since making the switch from St Mary’s to St George’s, energetic playmaker Jones has gone from strength to strength and is now an established member of the island set-up. Likewise, Myers has slotted seamlessly into the Geordies side and has formed a formidable partnership with captain Sean Quaye in the heart of defence.
Just behind them in the standings are three southern defenders all on 20.5 points: Castletown duo Tom Charmer and Karl Clark as well as Rushen’s Adam Cregeen. With 16 points from 16 games, Town are in relatively safe position and should have more than enough about them to avoid dropping down a division.
While Josh Kelly and Aaron Hawley have been banging in the goals at one end of the pitch for Rushen, Cregeen has been the Spaniards’ top performer at the other end and his defensive displays have also helped him seal his spot in the island team.
Cregeen’s Rushen team-mate Hawley and fellow Isle of Man centre-back Quaye have also impressed so far during the 11-12 campaign and have each earned scores of 20 points.
Completing the top 15 is yet another St George’s player, this time in the shape of Calum Morrissey. The powerful forward has formed an impressive partnership up front with McNulty both for club and country and will be hoping to fire his side to grand slam glory.
l Leading the way in the referee rankings is former Rushen player and manager Gareth Jones with an average points rating of 80.67 from the six top flight matches that he has officiated during the 2011-12 season so far. Since vacating the manager’s hotseat at the southerners, the legendary Spaniard has impressed in the middle of the park and has earned the Referee of the Week honours twice already.
Just behind him is Chris Taggart who has also been named RotW on two occasions and has garnered a score of 79.20 while in third place is John McCallum with 78.17. Andy Lodge fourth with 78.00, with David Murphy fifth on 77.25, Tony McMeiken next on 77.17 and Tommy Crowe seventh on 76.25.
Player ratings (top 15)
1, Ciaran McNulty (St George’s) 31.5 points
2=, Daniel Bell (Peel) 28.5
2=, Nick Hurt (St John’s) 28.5
4=, Josh Kelly (Rushen) 27
4=, Callum Stewart (DHSOB) 27
6, Steven Priestnal (St Mary’s) 26.5
7, Ashley Webster (Laxey)26
8=, Frank Jones (St George’s) 21
8=, Johnny Myers (St George’s) 21
10=, Tom Charmer (Castletown) 20.5
10=, Karl Clark (Castletown) 20.5
10=, Adam Cregeen (Rushen) 20.5
13=, Aaron Hawley (Rushen) 20
13=, Sean Quaye (St George’s) 20
15, Calum Morrissey (St George’s)19