MANX champions Vagabonds booked their place in the BSM-sponsored Manx Cup showpiece final with a home win over a dogged Southern Nomads challenge on Saturday.
The challenge for Nomads rose higher within the first 10 minutes after dangerous use of the boot at the ruck resulted in tighthead prop Stephen McHugh being given a straight red card.
The home side started to use the numerical advantage by throwing the ball around. This resulted in great field position for old man Bryan Kennaugh to barge over and claim the first competitive Vagabonds try at their new Ballafletcher home. A fitting tribute to a Vagabonds stalwart that is surely now reaching his twilight rugby days.
Next to cross the whitewash was skipper Leigh Kennaugh, quickly followed by a Tom Gascoyne brace to leave the score 26-0 at half-time.
Vagabonds made numerous changes at the break, which slightly disrupted the good structured play that was shown in the first half.
Mistakes by the home team were pounced upon by the Nomads lads and great inroads were made by the outstanding Rob Keelan. It was fitting that the first try for the Manx Shield champions came to that man Keelan after great work by the forwards. The impressive Jack Callaghan converted. Vagabonds started to play abit more with width again and the 14 men of Nomads became stretched.
An attacking scrum resulted in a penalty try after great work from the home tight five. Soon after this, flying wing Gascoyne crossed for his hat-trick to take the score to 40-7.
Nomads were not beaten though and centre Harry Brereton gave the travelling support something to cheer about when he picked a great line to go in under the posts. Callaghan again added the extras.
The last play of the game saw a dominant home scrum create a penalty try. Jonny Beckley knocked over the conversion to leave the final score 47-14.
Vagabonds will now return to league action and look forward to a cup final against Ramsey on April 30.