The Isle of Man will play host to the fifth Inter-Island Hockey tournament this weekend.
This biennial event was first hosted by Guernsey back in 2005 and contested by Bermuda, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey.
In 2009, Orkney entered the women’s tournament for the first time and have attended every tournament since.
The island men’s squad go into the tournament in confident mood, having recently enjoyed an excellent run to the finals of this year’s England Hockey Men’s County Championships.
Men’s team manager Russ Miller and coach Karl Moore have been careful to select a squad with a good blend of youth and experience for this year’s event, wary of facing tough opposition in the form of Jersey and holders Guernsey.
The squad includes a trio of promising youngsters in Ste Lowe, Alex Bell, Matty Grice, all making their Inter-Island hockey debuts after enjoying impressive seasons, along with equally imposing Bacchas’ stopper Greg Turner.
A full island debut has also been handed to Valkyrs’ tireless midfielder Sam Quinn. Captain Greg Miller will be looking to his squad for a strong performance on home soil and a return of the Men’s Inter-Island trophy which the team last won in 2007.
In the women’s tournament there is no doubt the Isle of Man are the team to beat after claiming the Inter-Island crown two years ago in Guernsey, beating Jersey 2-1 in the final thanks to goals from Andrea Kneen and Kim Carney.
Returning team manager Lesley Shimmin and coach Jon Whiting will be without a couple of experienced players from the victorious 2011 squad in England U21 player Lou Corkill and Zoë Shimmin through injury and work commitments respectively, but captain Carney welcomes a number of new faces into her 2013 squad including full Isle of Man debuts for Bacchas’ Sosie Cox, Castletown’s Hannah Leece and Ramsey goalkeeper Voirrey Baker.
Youthful exuberance is also offered by Laura Atkinson, Christina Kermeen and Imogen Manning, making their Inter-Island debuts having represented the island in recent matches.
The tournament gets underway on Friday evening at the NSC with the IoM men’s team playing Bermuda at 6.45pm and the Manx woman playing their Bermudan counterparts at 8.05pm. The action continues on Saturday with hockey on both pitches at the NSC and QEII. The third-fourth play-off matches and finals take place at the NSC on Sunday with the women’s final scheduled for 2.30pm and the men’s for 4pm.
Isle of Man squads
Men’s Will Margot, Greg Turner, Jamie Brown, Steven Crowe, Matty Grice, Conor Byrne, Gareth Morris, Greg Miller (Capt), Karl Moore, Phil Goddard, Rob Mylchreest, Neil Crowe, Andy Vernon-Browne, Gareth Craig, Steven Lowe, Andy Bridson, Alex Bell and Andy Whiting.
Women’s Voirrey Baker, Samantha Jordan, Laura Atkinson, Kirsty Bowley, Sarah Blackman, Katie Errock, Christina Kermeen, Sosie Cox, Hannah Leece, Kim Carney (Capt), Zoe Carney, Imogen Manning, Louise Slater, Nicola Cain, Jen Turner, Sarah Breen, Karmina Kovanda and Kirsty Cooper.
Friday, September 6
Isle of Man men v Bermuda 6.45pm @ NSC
Isle of Man women v Bermuda 8.05pm @ NSC
Saturday, September 7
Men at the NSC
Isle of Man v Jersey (9.30am)
Bermuda v Guernsey (11.10am)
Isle of Man v Guernsey (12.50pm)
Bermuda v Jersey (2.30pm)
Jersey v Guernsey (4.10pm)
Women at QEII
Orkney v Jersey (9am)
Isle of Man v Guernsey (10.15am)
Bermuda v Orkney (11.30am)
Isle of Man v Jersey (12.45pm)
Guernsey v Bermuda (2pm)
Isle of Man v Orkney (3.15pm)
Jersey vs Guernsey (4.30pm)
Sunday, September 8
at the NSC
Guernsey Women v Orkney Women 9am
Jersey Women v Bermuda Women 10.15am
Women’s final 2.30pm
Men’s final 4pm