It’s been a tough season for Vagabonds in Counties Three ADM Lancs/Cheshire.

They lie at the foot of the table with only two wins under the belt and indeed one of those was a walkover after Old Bedians failed to travel.

But the end is nigh and, despite their results, they may yet avoid relegation which is determined by the league organising committee. A positive step for this would be a win this Saturday against Bury at Ballafletcher.

Vagas started their campaign with a 42-11 away defeat at Bury but now have a chance to turn the tables.

In December they appointed a new coach, Franzy Germishuys. He was almost rewarded with a home win against Dukinfield on December 10 when Vagas were beaten by a late conversion.

They subsequently signed Dan Bonwick from Ramsey who had 172 league appearances to his name at the northerners and can cover multiple positions so was a great acquisition.

With the coaching change starting to kick in and some new blood in the 10 jersey, Vagas have improved.

While recent performances haven’t brought the wins they needed to move away from the bottom, they have a new energy about them and, although most of the players will be the same, they are a much different team from the one which went to Bury back in September.

There’s only one injury concern from last week’s defeat against Hoylake which is Cam Findlay who picked up a thumb injury.

Findlay kicks the Vagas goals and marshalls the defence from full back and he’ll be a big loss if he’s missing, but Bonwick can kick from the tee too and will have no issues if needed.

The forward pack bossed the Hoylake scrummage last week and bagged a penalty try in the process so they’ll have a spring in their step.

Bury have won four from 16 with Vagas two from 17 so there’s not that much between them on paper.

Vagabonds’ nearest rivals Port Sunlight face Dukinfield at home in their final game and the Manx side need a Dukinfield win plus a home win for themselves to avoid the wooden spoon.

Two games in

Manx Trophy

There are two matches scheduled in the final round of the Manx Trophy this weekend.

Nomads Whites host Ramsey’s Blues and Western Vikings, while Eastern Barbarians host Castletown and Ramsey’s Reds at Port-e-Chee.

While this is the final round, there have been a number of postponements in recent weeks meaning there are unplayed fixtures and the competition will need to go back to the organising committee to sort out its ending.

This weekend the Blues and Vikings combo should be too strong for Nomads who have struggled in recent weeks.

In the other game, Ramsey are likely to be the drivers as they’ll bring more players to the pot and should take the points.

Ravenscroft Junior Rugby

While the men’s domestic game is looking a little shaky in places, the Ravenscroft junior-set up is livelier than ever and another round of matches takes place this Sunday, weather permitting of course.

Western Vikings are hosting the fixtures at QEII High School in Peel and kick-off is at 12.30-1.45pm for under-sevens to u9s and 2-3.30pm for u10-12s.

Despite the issues with senior rugby, the youth side of the sport seems to be having more numbers than ever before, especially at primary ages. The Manx Youth Games is really helping drive participation for tag at u7 and u8s plus girls u9 and u10 in particular.


Saturday, March 11:

Regional Two North West

Douglas v Waterloo @ Port-e-Chee ko 1.30pm

Counties Three ADM Lancs/Cheshire

Vagabonds v Bury @ Ballafletcher ko 1.30pm

Ravenscroft Manx Trophy ko @ 2.15pm

Southern Nomads Whites v Ramsey Blues & Western Vikings @ Ballakilley Park

Eastern Barbarians v Ramsey Reds & Castletown @ Port-e-Chee