The 17th instalment of this season’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Team of the Week welcomes another handful of debutants.
No fewer than five*** players make their 2022-23 bows in the hypothetical XI after last weekend’s round of fixtures in the Canada Life Premier League.
Donning the TotW goalkeeper gloves for the first time this campaign is Ramsey number one Eamon McKiernan after the ex-Laxey custodian produced a string of fine saves to keep title hopefuls Corinthians at bay.
The northerners claimed a somewhat surprise 3-1 victory to put a major dent in the Whites’ hopes of catching Peel in the title race, therefore it’s no surprise to see Ramsey well represented in the latest Team of the Week..
Also catching the eye in that game was Greg Hepburn who has enjoyed a consistent season at the heart of the Ramsey defence and played a key role in thwarting the Whites attack.
He lines up in a traditional four-man defence alongside Rushen United#s Jack Gilbert, Union Mills’ Owen Quayle and Onchan’s Connor Dawson.
The latter was the Os’ stand-out player as the yellows held reigning champions Ayre Utd to a 2-2 draw in Andreas, while Quayle delivered an accomplished performance at the back and read the game well to help the Millers beat Marown 4-1, grabbing a goal in the process.
Gilbert impressed Eric Clague’s player ratings panel, attacking well down the right side and supplying a series of impressive crosses into the Saints box to help Rushen claim a 2-0 win.
Also impressing at Croit Lowey was Gilbert’s captain Stephen Riding who came off the bench early in the game and made a real impression against St George’s, therefore he takes his place in the Team of the Week midfield.
Slotting in alongside Riding is Andy Chadwick of St John’s, DHSOB’s Robbie Ward and Ayre United player/manager Nick Hurt.
The latter rounded off an excellent month with another fine game against Onchan to rack up his fourth TotW appearance of the season - the same as Riding.
Chadwick provided a hard-working all-round performance in the Saints midfield to help his side get the better of Laxey 3-1 at Mullen-e-Cloie, while Ward was in fine fettle and chipped in with a goal during his side’s narrow defeat to Douglas Royal.
Leading the line in the latest Team of the Week is a two-man attack consisting of Ramsey’s Chris Duggan and Rushen’s Aaron Hawley.
Between them, the pair netted four goals during the weekend’s games to help their sides to potentially important victories, Hawley grabbing both goals in the Spaniards’ aforementioned 2-0 win over Geordies, while Duggan was also at the double to help Ramsey sink Corinthians.
Also shining in the latter game was official Stuart Kneen who delivered a typically consistent performance with the whistle to pick up the referee of the week honours once again.