IOM vs North Lancs & Fylde Report
The Paddy Power sponsored Isle of Man senior men’s team faced off against and extremely strong North Lancs & Fylde team on Mad Sunday and won the home leg at Port St Mary, however they lost out overall.
This is becoming a familiar story for the Manx Men as this is their third consecutive home victory, however they are yet to pick up an overall win.
With the team taking part in the competition for only the second year we should be delighted with these performances as the team really is taking on the best that the sport has to offer, however it is testament to how far we have come that this result is still tinged with a bit of disappointed as we had hoped for more.
They are really flying the flag for the Isle of Man proudly and there was nothing but praise from their counterparts from across the water who could only applaud everything about the local effort from the hospitality shown by Port St Mary, the organisation on the day right through to some brilliant performance both home and away.
The Port St Mary green is an absolute testament to the club and thanks go to the green keepers for the preparation of it. It was quite simply frightening! This was by far the fastest green that the Island team has used to date in the Crosfield Cup, and overall the home side handled it well with five out of twelve winners, but taking the leg victory on points.
There were some real positives to take out of the day and first county wins for Matthew Keggen and Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly were definitely amongst them. The former picked up the Gellings man of the match award for an Isle of Man player as a result of his battling 21-17 win over Tommy King.
Colin Kelly, Peter Collister and John Kennish all showed their class and put in superb displays to add to the Islands tally of wins and ensure the points victory.
Visitor Sam Patterson picked up the Endsleigh Man of the Match award for his 21-15 win over David Bradford.
Take nothing away though from those that didn’t win, we place too much emphasis on winning individual games when the code in the Crosfield cup is all about points, and every point scored by every player went towards this win. To put in in its simplest terms if the losing players had all scored one less point we would have lost the match. This was a real team effort.
Away from home was a slightly different story and there were real lessons learned about both the class of the opposition and the importance of a strong home side on a difficult green. This is a learning curve though and every day is a school day and the team will be much stronger after this match.
Two real highlights though were the performances of Jordan Cain and Trevor Quayle. Cain picked up the overall Endsleigh Man of the Match award for his superb 21-16 win over North Lancs Captain Dave Watters, whilst Quayle was magnificent winning the Gellings award for his 21-13 win over the incomparable Mike Leach.
There were other good performances too and despite falling short of the overall win the Manx Men can be very proud of what they are achieving in this competition.
If they take heart from anything it should be Cumbria’s victory this weekend over reigning champions Warwick and Worcester. Not long ago Cumbria were considered an easy match and questionably the weakest team in the competition and yesterday they beat unquestionably the strongest county in the sport. Our day will come.