After last weekend’s snowy drama in the Manx Cup, the Plate returns this Saturday for the third round of the rugby competition.
Ramsey B host Vagabonds Hornets at Mooragh Park, while at the other end of the island Emerging Nomads take on Western Vikings at the Field of Dreams.
After winning the Manx Bowl just after Christmas, Ramsey B have gone off the boil a little. Skipper Neil Hulme has been missing through injury for the past couple of weeks and his return this week could make all the difference.
He has some new youngsters in the shape of Ross Quayle, Euan Harmer and Nathan Robson, and will aim to get them back to winning ways.
Vagas, by contrast, are two from two and top the table. They too have a crop of youngsters and, mixed with some more experienced players like Tom Rowley and Ekong Bell, they’re going really well in the early stages. Current form suggests a Vagas win here.
At Ballakilley Park, Emerging Nomads will fancy themselves against Western Vikings. I watched the Peel men a couple of weeks ago and they grafted all game so they will take some beating.
They have a talented youngster in the shape of Toby Poole-Wilson and all he needs is a sniff of the line and he’ll be away. Jack Goodwin was full of running even at the end of the game and prop Josh Hockney is unstoppable from close range.
Nomads also have a blend of youth and experience: Steve Downe and Orry Watterson will supply the guile, while Liam Savage will bring the exuberance of youth.
This could be tight and, with only one point separating them in the standings, it’s too close to call.
Fixtures Saturday, February 26
North One West
Douglas v Birkenhead Park
@ Port-e-Chee ko 1.45pm
Women’s NC1 North West
Vagabonds v Littleborough
@ Ballafletcher ko 12pm
Ravenscroft Manx Plate
Emerging Nomads v Western Vikings
@ Ballakilley Park ko 2.15pm
Ramsey B v Vagabonds Hornets
@ Mooragh Park ko 2.15pm