THE fixtures computer has thrown up a few interesting clashes in JCK Division Two this weekend, including a potential banana skin for the pacesetters.
In what is most likely the day’s biggest match in the division, Union Mills travel northwest to take on fellow promotion hopefuls Michael United at Balleira Road.
The Millers have proven to be title favourites Marown’s closest challengers thus far, currently lying second some nine points behind the leaders but with two games in hand. This weekend’s hosts, on the other hand, got their campaign off to a slow start but Barney Kelly’s third stint at the helm is now in full swing andthey have had some good form of late, with four wins out of their last five matches.
For Michael, Pete Fisher is back from holiday and will lead the line but Dave Reynolds is rated no better than 50/50 to make a comeback from injury. Rob Christian will continue at left back in place of broken arm victim Tommy Corlett while Mike Hammond returns from suspension and will be in the squad.
Adam Dewar will get the chance to continue an impressive three-match stretch in midfield following a succession of injuries to other squad members.
Union Mills should have a full side on Saturday now that Kenny Magee is back in action and his pace could cause Michael a few problems. AJ Suckling is likely to lead the line upfront with Ste Quine behind him. Chris Kelly and Gaz Logan will hold it together in the middle of the park with Dave Hicks and Karl Dobbin in defence with the ever-reliable Christian Cellamare keeping guard in between the sticks.
Elsewhere in the second tier, runaway leaders Marown face a tricky test at Ballafletcher where they take on Douglas Royal. The visitors have a 100 per cent winning record so far, with 13 wins out of 13 scoring no fewer than 67 goals in the proccess and will be favourites to make it 14 in a row. However, their opponents will be no pushovers, as they proved when they were arguably the better team in their 1-0 defeat at Onchan despite being reduced to nine men.
Marown emerged victorious in the reverse fixture back in August when a brace from Ryan Holdaway and one from Gary Thomas sealed a 3-0 win but expect Royal to prove a tougher opponent this time, although Gavin Gawne will be absent through suspension.
Should Royal slip up at home then Foxdale could leapfrog them up into fifth place should they overcome bottom club Ronaldsway at Billy Goat Park. The hosts will be favourites to pick up the points but the Rockets picked up an impressive win over Pulrose recently and could climb off the bottom with a win of their own.
Mid-table side Police make the short journey to Springfield Road to take on Pully while Douglas and District visit neighbours Braddan and Colby face fellow southerners Malew at Clagh Vane.