The latest instalment of Isle of Man Newspapers’ Team of the Week is an FA Cup special after last Saturday’s semi-finals.
The Tangerines proved too strong for defending champions Corinthians, sending the Whites crashing out thanks to a 4-0 win in Andreas. This while the Miners scored a dramatic last-gasp winner against DHSOB in injury-time after extra-time just when the match appeared destined to go to penalties.
Despite the eventual scoreline, one of the star performers in that game at Glen Road was Old Boys goalkeeper Sam Holliday who - like his opposite number Rob Slinger - produced a string of excellent saves to keep his side in the contest, therefore he dons the TotW number one jersey.
In a rare occurrence, the entire backline is made up of players all from the same team, namely Ayre quartet Harry Weatherill, Jamie Callister, George Rawlinson and Orry Martin.
The Tangerines defenders were all in resilient form in the north of the island, nullifying Corinthians’ attacking threats and restricting the Ballafletcher side to only two shots on target throughout the match.
Indeed, Callister got the northerners off to the perfect start by opening the scoring with a header in the fourth minute, while Martin was the top performer on the day and was therefore later named the ECAP FA Cup Player of the Round. Honourable mentions should go to Laxey’s Jake Garvey and David Reynolds, plus Old Boys full-back Steven Clarke who all impressed at Glen Road.
Much like Ayre dominate the Team of the Week defence, Laxey do likewise in midfield as three of their players impressed Eric Clague’s ratings panel. The midfielders in question are Mike Fernandes, Brody Patience and Aaron Bradley who all excelled against Old Boys and played key roles in the Miners booking their place in the Good Friday final.
Fernandes was a handful for the opposition at Glen Road and put his side in front in extra-time with a close-range finish, while Bradley caused the DHSOB defence numerous problems and assisted Laxey’s first goal.
While it may not have been his day in front of goal - had it not been for Holliday’s heroics, he would have scored several times - Patience was a constant menace and created plenty of chances for his team-mates.
Leading the line in a front three in the latest Team of the Week are Ayre duo Phil Dunnigan and Jonny Shields, plus Laxey’s Harry Walters.
Dunnigan was at the double for the Tangerines as he put the Corinthians defence to the sword, scoring the third and fourth goals for his side against the cup holders.
Likewise, Shields was back in the team - after missing the previous week’s win at St George’s - and his creative spark played a key role in Ayre sealing their place in the final.
Walters stole the show at Glen Road as he helped himself to two crucial goals which ultimately proved the difference between the two sides.
First he produced a superb diving header to equalise for his side only moments after Old Boys had broken the deadlock, before he pounced in the 121st minute to clinch a dramatic 3-2 win for his side and send the Miners into the final.
Claiming the referee of the week honours is Stuart Morris who impressed with this whistle during the semi-final clash between Ayre and Corinthians in Andreas.
Sam Holliday (DHSOB)
Harry Weatherill (Ayre)
Jamie Callister (Ayre)
George Rawlinson (Ayre)
Orry Martin (Ayre)
Mike Fernandes (Laxey)
Brody Patience (Laxey)
Aaron Bradley (Laxey)
Phil Dunnigan (Ayre)
Harry Walters (Laxey)
Jonny Shields (Ayre)
Stuart Morris (Ayre v Corinthians)