Manx Cup returns after enforced break

Friday 4th March 2022 10:00 am
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Manx Plate rugby: Ramsey B v Vagabonds Hornets ()

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It’s been three weeks since the Manx Cup sides last ran out in earnest in the Ravenscroft-sponsored rugby competition.

The Vagabonds Ramsey match from a fortnight ago was postponed because of snow, while the scheduled Nomads/Douglas game was postponed by agreement between the clubs.

This weekend there is a full round of games and it will be interesting to see who has benefitted from the lay off and, indeed, who has suffered.

Probably the most intriguing tie this Saturday is at Ballakilley where Ramsey will be visiting Southern Nomads.

The northerners have without doubt been the form team so far this season but are carrying a casualty list.

Tom Moffatt, Eddie Lord and skipper Matt Meechan have all been out with assorted ailments, while the Richmond brothers Dan and Jake both picked up knocks last week playing for the seconds.

Lord is reported to have started light training but is unlikely to be fit for this game, while Meechan should be OK after some stitches are removed. The Richmonds were reported as OK after the game last weekend so they will probably play a part.

Nomads had a pretty poor Manx Trophy run but since then have started to come good and they beat Vagabonds 41-12 around a month ago which suggests they will be very competitive here.

The half back pairing of Mark Young and George Collister works really well and Young can kick his goals too. Outside them, Django Kinley provides the X factor and has form with the boot too.

Therefore, this game could well run much closer than the formbook suggests.

At Port-e-Chee, Sure-sponsored Vagabonds visit Douglas Celts. In the reverse fixture, the Celts were right in the game at half-time trailing only 12-7, but capitulated in the second half and lost 76-7.

Despite the hiccup at Nomads, Vagas will be tough to beat for the Celts.

Stephan de Beer looks like a useful acquisition for Vagas’ back row and Ethan Kermode showed great maturity last Saturday for the Hornets away at Ramsey B.

Mix these newer players with some of the more experienced players like Paul Howard and Matt Rockwell and Vagas have a pretty potent mix.

Douglas will be limited by the personnel available after the first team travel. A number of Celts are now getting first team runs and a Celts side missing the likes of Dave Sherwin, Nathan Hinks and Jack Shimmin will find life difficult even on home turf.

Fixtures

Saturday, March 5:

North One West

Firwood Waterloo v Douglas @ Waterloo

Women’s NC1 North West

Vagabonds v Halifax @ Ballafletcher 2pm

Ravenscroft Manx Cup

PDMS Southern Nomads v Ramsey

@ Ballakilley Park ko 2.15pm

Douglas Celts v Sure Vagabonds

@ Port-e-Chee ko 2.15pm

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