The Isle of Man rugby season comes to an end this weekend with the finals of the Ravenscroft Manx Cup and Plate.

The games are both at Port-e-Chee in Douglas and at 1pm Vagabonds will take on Southern Nomads in the Plate, which is followed by the Manx Cup final at 3pm between Douglas and Ramsey.

The Vagabonds v Nomads clash in the Plate will be very interesting indeed. The two met in the league phase of the cup, with Vagas winning 39-26 thanks to two late scores from Dan Bonwick.

Until then though, the game was impossibly close and Nomads will be keen to go one better.

Last weekend both had big defeats at the hands of the cup finalists but both were missing potential key players.

Nomads’ big carrier Orry Watterson was absent as was Vagabonds’ Mark Oldfield. These two are vital for their respective teams and the appearance of one or both could change a game.

On paper though, Vagabonds’ league experience this season in Counties Three ADM Lancs/Cheshire should just give them the edge.

The Cup final is perhaps a little more clear cut, according to the formbook at least. Douglas’ position in the league structure and their perfect passage to the final suggests that the pre-competition favourites should pick up the Cup around 4.30pm on Saturday.

They beat Ramsey 36-10 in the league phase but when we scratch beneath the surface of the scoreline we find that Ramsey were leading 10-7 after almost an hour.

Douglas needed to bring on a powerful bench to claim the game, Guy Wood coming into full back in particular made a huge difference.

Ramsey will have learned a few hard lessons from that defeat and, if they can find a way to keep Douglas at bay, they may be capable of an upset.

Josh Corteen and Jake Richmond were both immense last Saturday and youngster Ryan Wren is growing into the seven jersey every time he pulls it on.

But Douglas just ooze quality. Rob Todd and Simon Hoddinott are mobile prop forwards, John Dutnall is a proper warrior and outside the pack they have Sam McCord’s five-try pace from last week and the canny kicking of Jack Shimmin.

This all leads to an inescapable Douglas win, but Ramsey will make them work for it.


Saturday, April 22:

Ravenscroft Manx Plate

Vagabonds v PDMS Southern Nomads @ Port-e-Chee ko 1pm

Ravenscroft Manx Cup Final

Douglas v Ramsey

@ Port-e-Chee ko 3pm