Another five players make their seasonal debuts in the latest instalment of Isle of Man Newspapers’ Team of the Week.
Donning the goalkeeper gloves for the first time in the 2023-24 Canada Life Premier League campaign is former FC Isle of Man number one Dean Kearns who has been back in the fold for Rushen United this season, featuring in all five of the Spaniards’ games thus far.
While he ended up on the losing side against reigning champions Peel at Croit Lowey, he enjoyed an impressive game - particularly in the second half – to deny the westerners an even greater margin of victory.
Also catching the eye of Eric Clague’s player ratings panel in that match in Port Erin was Peel defender Luke Doherty who produced another fine game at the back to earn his place in a four-man Team of the Week defence.
Joining him in the back four is Ayre United’s Nick Hurt, Ramsey’s Matt Montgomery and Union Mills’ Owen Quayle.
The latter maintained his fine start to the season with another strong performance in the heart of the Millers’ defence as they became only the second side to take points off then leaders St Mary’s last weekend.
Hurt delivered a superb display at the back alongside Johnny Shields as the Tangerines continued their 100 per cent winning start to the campaign, with Hurt scoring twice including one outstanding header.
Montgomery has made a real impression at the back this season for Ramsey and once again excelled as the northerners played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Corinthians.
Also taking the plaudits in that match at Ballafletcher was Dan Simpson who, while not finding the back of the net on this occasion, still enjoyed a fine game on both wings for Corinthians.
Slotting into the three-man TotW midfield alongside his are two players who went head-to-head at the Bowl, Joe Bergquist of St Mary’s and Jordan Crawley of Union Mills.
The latter was in fine fettle throughout and delivered a superb assist for his side’s second goal at the national stadium, while Bergquist also produced a good display and held his nerve to score a late penalty to salvage a 2-2 draw for the Saints.
Leading the way in terms of goals in the top flight last Saturday was Danny Oram who helped himself to a hat-trick during Ayre United’s 7-2 win over Marown, therefore he takes his place in a three-man attack in the latest hypothetical XI.
Oram is now the joint leading goalscorer alongside Andy Asbridge after the latter bagged a brace as Douglas Royal claimed a potentially vital three points away at St John’s on Friday night at Mullen-e-Cloie to earn his TotW spot.
Completing the line-up and the front three is Peel’s Paul Whitehead who scored two well-taken goals to help the westerners claim the bragging rights against Rushen United at Croit Lowey, therefore narrowly edging team-mate Lee Gale out of the latest Team of the Week.
Claiming the refereeing honours of the second time already this season is Stuart Kneen who impressed with the whistle during the Ayre v Marown clash in Andreas.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Dean Kearns (Rushen) TotW apps: 1
Owen Quayle (U. Mills) TotW apps: 2
Luke Doherty (Peel) TotW apps: 2
Nick Hurt (Ayre) TotW apps: 1
Matty Montgomery (Ramsey)
TotW apps: 2
Joe Bergquist (St Mary’s) TotW apps: 1
Jordan Crawley (U. Mills) TotW apps: 2
Dan Simpson (Corinthians)
TotW apps: 3
Paul Whitehead (Peel) TotW apps: 1
Danny Oram (Ayre) TotW apps: 3
Andy Asbridge (D. Royal) TotW apps: 1
(Ayre v Marown)