DEFENDING Shimmin Wilson Manx Shield champions PDMS Southern Nomads defeated leaders Douglas B in a physical and fiery match at King William’s College on Saturday.
Nomads, champing at the bit after a three-week lay-off from any sort of fixture, started strongly and used various runners from all areas of the pitch to head into the Douglas 22.
A period of pressure resulted in a penalty in front of the posts which Tom Duggan despatched to make the early score 3-0.
This should have settled the home team, but what followed was a 20 minute period of Douglas pressure and Nomads mistakes.
Douglas sensed their chance and travelled 25 metres in an unstoppable rolling maul that gave them good ball in the opposition 22. After a few more phases, the abrasive and impressive Dom Winrow made it over the line virtually untouched. An unsuccessful kick gave the visitors a 3-5 lead.
This score seemed to galvanise the team in green and let the league leaders know they were in for a test. The Nomads tight five began to front up and make yardage around the field, enabling the back-line began to fire.
The Douglas defence was becoming stretched and conceded two tries before half-time. Colin Kelly and Jack Sleight worked extremely hard for their tries by getting on the end of breaks from Ste McHugh and Harry Brereton. Both tries were converted by Duggan to make the score 17-5 and create some daylight between the sides at the break.
Douglas started the second half with renewed fire and scored an unconverted try after forcing Nomads to give away a number of penalties at the ruck.
Their work around the fringes was impressive and lured Nomads into a game they didn’t want to play.
The home side needed control of the ball and took it for a 10-minute spell in which they scored 12 points. McHugh and Gerard Landels scored fine tries with stellar support from scrum-half Andy Lean. Duggan converted one of these to make the score 29-10.
Douglas applied pressure once more but couldn’t come up with any points and were made to pay when Lean got on the scoresheet himself by by cutting a nice line from a tap penalty.
Quickly after, Jimmy Cubbon nipped under the posts unopposed as a result of another midfield bulldoze from hard-running Darren Birchall. These were both converted by Duggan to complete the Nomads scoring.
A late try from Jack Moore gave Douglas the last points of the afternoon.
In the other Manx Shield fixture, Vagabonds B comfortably put away a spirited Emerging Nomads side 41-0 at Ballafletcher.
It looked like the southerners would concede the points after turning up with just 11 players, and a friendly 10-a-side match was suggested, but the cavalry arrived before kick-off and a proper 15-a-side competitive match was played.
A big performance from Vagabonds number 8 Joe Louw saw him pick up a hat-trick of tries, including a rampaging effort from his own half, while centre Tom Gascoyne bagged two.
Further tries came from winger Andy Pease and prop Mark Allix, with Michael Oates adding three conversions to bring the total to 41 points.
Nomads stuck at it till the final whistle, but the Vagas defence kept them at bay.