All set for Manx Hockey Association’s finals day

Friday 1st April 2022 4:00 pm
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Vikings B’s Ashley Osbourne attempts to find a way past the Ramsey defence during last Saturday’s Rossborough Men’s Premier League clash at the NSC which was won 5-2 by the northerners (DK220326 (24)) (Dave Kneale/Isle of Man Newspapers )

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Manx Hockey Association’s knockout competitions take centre stage on Saturday when players, coaches, umpires and spectators participate in finals day.

This is normally well supported with fans from all clubs usually present and, with five out of six clubs in the island being represented across the four finals, spectators will certainly be in for a treat at the NSC.

First up sees the MHA Women’s Plate Final between the two main protagonists of Rossborough Women’s Division One in the form of Harlequins and Castletown B taking to the pitch.

Harlequins currently lead the way in the league but are closely followed by Castletown B who remain the only side to have taken points from the leaders. Harlequins’ main strength is their goal-scoring and attacking threat, having scored 44 goals in nine games so far this season.

But Town B’s strength lies in their defensive record. Although the southerners have only - by comparison - scored 19 goals this season, they have only conceded five, three of which have been against Harlequins.

There is no clear favourite in this final and it is certainly very difficult to predict which way this could go.

Next sees the heroic Valkyrs B take on Vikings A in the MHA Women’s Cup Final. Valkyrs have not got the points their performances at times have quite deserved in the women’s top flight this season.

But they have found their way into the final thanks to their victory over Castletown A to ensure they take on a David vs Goliath battle with the all-conquering Vikings A.

Clearly the latter are overwhelming favourites to take home the trophy, but that will not deter the westerners who have fought tooth and nail for everything they have this season and they will make sure to give everything they have and enjoy their day.

Although a shock is unlikely, if one team can defy the odds it is Valkyrs B.

Another final that is too close to call sees the auld enemies Bacchas A take on Vikings A. Over the years the former have had the upper hand, with Vikings unable to take victory in matches between the two sides since the 2010 Men’s Cup Final until this season. Therefore, with 12 years between victories, Vikings will be desperate to earn their next win soon.

Bacchas A and Vikings A have beaten each other once this season but Bacchas know how to win these trophies and will be the slight favourites going into the final.

Having said that, now that Vikings have taken that elusive first win in 12 years, they have managed to overcome that mental block and know exactly what they must do to win.

Can Steven Ronan’s Vikings go home with the trophy or will Bacchas ensure their name remains on the silverware for another year? No one knows and it is impossible to predict, but this is going to be one of the games of the day.

Last but certainly not least sees the MHA Men’s Plate Final between Rossborough Men’s Division One relegation candidates Vikings C and title challengers Castletown A.

You would be forgiven for thinking that this is a foregone conclusion but, as Vikings C proved last year after losing twice in the league 4-0 to Valkyrs B, they managed to take them to a penalty shootout when the two sides met in the final of this competition.

Castletown also lost an important match last weekend to see their title hopes fade, meaning they know this could be their only chance of silverware this season and will be giving everything to take the win.

The southerners are the overwhelming favourites but Vikings C are a typically plucky cup team that Castletown will need to show respect to.

FIXTURES

MHA Women’s Cup Final

12.30pm Motorworx Valkyrs B v Canaccord Genuity Vikings A @ NSC

MHA Men’s Cup Final

2pmRamsey Crookall Cronkbourne Bacchas A

v Canaccord Genuity Vikings A @ NSC

MHA Women’s Plate Final

11am Athena Healthcare Harlequins

v J.Qualtrough & Co Castletown B @ NSC

MHA Men’s Plate Final

3.30pm Canaccord Genuity Vikings C

v J.Qualtrough & Co Castletown A @ NSC

Rossborough Women’s Premier League

2pm J.Qualtrough & Co Castletown A

v Exceed Business Services Ramsey A @ CRHS

Rossborough Men’s Division Two

11am Exceed Business Services Ramsey B

v J.Qualtrough Castletown Colts @ QEII

3.30pm Ramsey Crookall Cronkbourne Bacchas Colts v Ramsey Crookall Cronkbourne

Bacchas C @ QEII

Rossborough Women’s Division Two

12.30pm J.Qualtrough Castletown C v Ramsey Crookall Cronkbourne Bacchas C @ CRHS

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