Onchan & Marown at the Double
League Week 4 Report by Mark Kneen
As I reviewed the results from last week’s double set of fixtures in Isle of Man Bank Men’s Division One, I sat perplexed, scratching my head to try and find what I should focus on for my report as nothing significant had really happened, but when I looked harder something had happened, normality had returned.
After a yoyo start to their season Champions Onchan finally managed to get some momentum going stringing together back to back 9-1 wins over Port St Mary A & Nobles Mixed to move them within striking difference of leaders Marown, only 3 points adrift.
Marown in turn also managed two much needed wins as they turned up the heat on the chasing pack. They started their week with a 9-1 win over Nobles Mixed before going to Castletown and slugging their way to a hard fought 6-4 win. Marown have what looks like a formality tonight as they entertain North Ramsey A at the memorial playing fields and they will look to give themselves more breathing space at the top of the tree with another strong home win.
Town had begun the week well with an impressive 8-2 win away at Ballaugh A and this is the form they will hope to take with them tonight to Onchan Park to face the champions. Despite their midweek defeat they find themselves in a lofty third place four points ahead of Douglas A and will want to pick up some good away points to keep them there.
Douglas had only one game last week and they picked up an impressive 8-2 win away at Castletown B. They face this seasons surprise package Peel A at the Villa Marina tonight and will hope they can amass enough points to leapfrog Town A back into the top 3. South Ramsey A also kicked into top gear with two wins in a week to find themselves on equal points with Douglas. South still have a most of the main contenders to square off again but even so they have to be happy with their start to the season.
If any of the chasing pack want to seriously challenge for top spot this year they need to do two things they need to either beat or match the top two in head to head matches but more importantly they need to match or better their results against the other teams. This second point will be the key that could unlock the door to success it is not simply enough to win, they have to win big.
If normality has returned to division one then insanity reigns in the second tier as Casteltown D find themselves in pole position after five games. They picked up a great 9-1 win on Tuesday against Port St Mary C before suffering their first defeat of the campaign at the Villa the following evening going down 7-3 to Douglas B. Surely this is the first time a D team has ever topped the second division?
Port St Mary B & Port Erin A both picked up two wins each to close in on Town D and bring some sanity back to proceedings. Port St Mary B are the only undefeated team in the division and draw level with the leaders whilst Port Erin are only one point behind in a title race that could end in a photo finish come September.
Onchan C top division 3 and even this early in the season they are the only team in any division who can boast a 100% record. A brilliant 8-2 win away at South Ramsey B is enough to see them two points clear at the summit ahead of Port Erin B who picked up a good 7-3 win away at Douglas C.