DCSIMG

Cup takes centre stage as leagues take a break

HOME ADVANTAGE: Ramseys Tynan Pritchard wins lineout ball against Oswestry on Saturday as the northerners secured an important 26-0 victory in South Lancashire and Cheshire Division Two at Mooragh Park

HOME ADVANTAGE: Ramseys Tynan Pritchard wins lineout ball against Oswestry on Saturday as the northerners secured an important 26-0 victory in South Lancashire and Cheshire Division Two at Mooragh Park

Despite Douglas, Ramsey and Vagabonds all enjoying a week off South Lancashire/Cheshire action, there are still sufficient games to whet the appetite of the most fervent supporter as three matches take place in three separate domestic competitions.

Probably the biggest of the local comps is the Manx Cup, where Western Vikings meet Castletown in a preliminary round match at QEII School Peel.

Town have already lost to Southern Nomads in an earlier preliminary game so their hopes of a Manx Cup semi are already gone.

Vikings, however, could still make the last four tie if they beat Town this week and Southern Nomads the following week.

More likely, however, is that Nomads will take the semi-final spot away at Douglas on February 23, with this game between Town and Vikings finally settling the semi line ups for the Manx Plate competition which sits just underneath the Cup.

Vikings resurrection is probably now just about complete.

They’re assured of fourth place in the Shield and despite some injuries to key players - skipper Mike Sheeley (leg), playmaker Mark Venables (shoulder) and terrier Darryl McGeown (head) - they still have some tasty players in the line up.

Vice captain Paul Wheeldon has been outstanding all season at hooker, Tony Grundy is solid at eight and with experienced vets like Paul Gale on the sidelines they should have enough in the tank to edge past Town.

Town’s Mick Shipley is their inspiration and he’ll be in the thick of it no matter where he starts. The southern pack is solid and there’s pace out wide in the shape of Dave Akkulugadu.

They were one win apiece in the Shield so this one will be tight.

There are just two unresolved fixtures in the Shimmin Wilson Manx Shield and the most significant of these will take place at Port-e-Chee (weather permitting) where Douglas B will take on Southern Nomads.

Nomads already have a hand on the trophy and provided the game is played, they will retain the Shield whatever the outcome.

The two sides have met once before with Nomads winning 43-15 back in November. Since then Douglas have become much more organised and focussed and they will provide much tougher resistance. However, Nomads should win.

Last but not least there is a preliminary round tie in the Manx Plate at Ballafletcher where Vagabonds B take on Emerging Nomads.

Vagas have beaten the Nomads second string twice already in the Shield and should make reasonably light work of them.

Nomads have had a leadership change. Out goes the glass-shouldered Hugo McKenzie and in comes the talented youngster Fraser Veale.

Perhaps the young and talented can do what the old and experienced couldn’t.

Saturday’s Fixtures

Womens NC North One

Northwich v Vagabonds @ Northwich

Manx Cup Preliminary Round

Western Vikings v Castletown

@ QEII School ko 2.15pm

Manx Plate Preliminary Round

Vagabonds B v Emerging Nomads

@ Ballafletcher ko 2.15pm

Shimmin Wilson Manx Shield

Douglas B v Southern Nomads

@ Port-e-Chee ko 2.15pm

 
 
 

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