No fewer than 10 players make their seasonal debuts in the latest instalment of Isle of Man Newspapers’ Team of the Week.
For the fourth Saturday in a row, the six games played in the Canada Life Premier League featured more than 30 goals, bringing the seasonal total to 143 already.
By contrast, last season it took until October 8 for the same amount of goals to be scored in the top flight of Manx football.
But playing a key role in making sure there weren’t even more goals scored on Saturday was St John’s goalkeeper Alex Haddock who produced an outstanding performance to deny Rushen United their first win of the season during the two sides’ 2-2 draw at Mullen-e-Cloie.
As such, he takes his place in goal in the latest hypothetical XI behind a traditional four-man defence comprising Chris Asbridge (St Mary’s), Johnny Shields (Ayre Utd), Owen Quayle (Union Mills) and Greg Hepburn (Ramsey).
The latter man hardly put a foot wrong at left-back and netted an early goal just for good measure as the northerners maintained their 100 percent winning start to the season with an 8-2 success away at newly-promoted Braddan.
Also continuing their excellent start to the campaign were St Mary’s who currently top the table after Asbridge enjoyed a superb game in defence as the Saints defeated Douglas Royal 5-1 at the Bowl to retain their unbeaten record.
Another team finding their groove in the early weeks of the season is Ayre United who upset reigning champions Peel with a 4-1 win in Andreas, with Shields producing a standout performance for the Tangerines to keep the dangerous Lee Gale in check.
Highly-talented defender Quayle helped the Millers keep a first clean sheet of the season as he produced a dominant performance at centre-back to thwart the St George’s attack.
Another to impress for Paul Guiver’s men in that match at Glencrutchery Road was Quayle’s team-mate Nathan Yates who grabbed the all-important opening goal with a fine diving header and enjoyed a good all-round display to earn his place in the two-man Team of the Week midfield.
Joining him in the centre of the pitch is Corinthians’ Dan Simpson who starred for the Whites with a hat-trick during their high-scoring come-from-behind victory against Marown.
Repeating that trick in the contest at Ballafletcher was talented youngster Chester Bell who enhanced his burgeoning reputation with a well-taken treble to confirm his place in a four-man attack in the hypothetical XI.
Joining him up top is Ayre United’s in-form man Danny Oram, Rushen’s Aaron Hawley and Ramsey’s Charlie Higgins.
Between the four of them they chipped in with no fewer than 11 goals, with Higgins being the standout performer at Braddan with a well-taken hat-trick as Ramsey once again provided their championship credentials.
Likewise, Oram continued his superb start to the second with a valuable hat-trick as Ayre defeated Peel in Andreas for the second season in a row. Indeed, Oram’s display was probably the performance of the week as he earned his second TotW call-up of the season already.
Hawley was at the double for Rushen as he helped the Spaniards claim a point on their travels against St John’s at Mullen-e-Cloie, therefore also maintaining his good start to the season and bringing his tally to seven goals already this term.
Claiming the refereeing honours this week is Stuart Kneen who turned in an excellent performance with the whistle by remaining in complete control of the game between Braddan and Ramsey at Victoria Road.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Alex Haddock (St John’s) TotW apps: 1
Chris Asbridge (St Mary’s) TotW apps: 1
Johnny Shields (Ayre) TotW apps: 1
Owen Quayle (Union Mills) TotW apps: 1
Greg Hepburn (Ramsey) TotW apps: 1
Nathan Yates (Union Mills) TotW apps: 1
Danny Simpson (Corinthians) TotW apps: 1
Danny Oram (Ayre) TotW apps: 2
Aaron Hawley (Rushen) TotW apps: 1
Chester Bell (Corinthians) TotW apps: 1
Charlie Higgins (Ramsey) TotW apps: 1
Stuart Kneen (Braddan v Ramsey)