A TIGHT 8-7 victory over Douglas B secured Southern Nomads the Shimmin Wilson Manx Shield for the fifth consecutive season at Mooragh Park on Saturday.
Nomads only needed to take to the pitch to retain the league crown, but made sure they finished off the Shield season in dramatic fashion sinking a late penalty to beat their nearest rivals by just one point.
The game, which was switched to Ramsey’s Mooragh Park pitch with Douglas’ Port-e-Chee ground water-logged, lacked finesse but made up for it with commitment from both teams who really did knock lumps out of each other for the full 80 minutes.
After an encouraging start, Douglas had the first real scoring chance of the game in the 13th minute.
Nomads’ number eight Gaz Watt held onto the ball on the ground and conceded a penalty. Mark Shortland’s effort drifted wide in the stiff breeze.
Five minutes later though, Douglas returned the favour at the other end.
However, Mark Young scuffed a simple chance sending it under the bar to keep the game scoreless and have Nomads’ touch judge Mark Seed threatening to bring his wife along to take the next kick!
For much of the remainder of the first half, both teams struggled to get any rhythm into their game.
Douglas were on top in the set scrummage and they scrapped hard for every ball on the floor.
Nomads by contrast looked much better with ball in hand.
The lineouts for some reason were a lottery and with so little clean ball it was no surprise that there were few scoring chances.
As the first half ebbed to its conclusion Nomads finally made the breakthrough. Quick scrum ball was spun wide where left wing Leon Landels squeezed over for a 0-5 half-time lead.
Douglas got right back into it early in the second half.
Just four minutes in Sam Peel fired a speculative kick into the Nomads’ 22.
Nomads’ full back Tom Duggan was unable to take it on the full and when the ball bounced, it sat up nicely for Douglas number eight Rob Todd who gobbled up the chance and went in under the posts.
Luke Hyland converted to put Douglas in front 7-5.
They retained their lead for much of the remainder of the game but with just five minutes to play, Nomads got the winner.
Impact subs Rob Keelan, Steve McHugh and Gerard Landels worked well in a drive up the centre of the pitch and at the breakdown, Douglas went off their feet and conceded a penalty, which Young banged home without any assistance from Mrs Seed.
Afterwards, referee John Higginbotham presented the Shimmin Wilson Manx Shield to Nomads’ skipper Harry Brereton on behalf of the sponsors and the Manx Rugby Football Union.