Any Port in a Storm
League Week 6 Report by Mark Kneen
Port St Mary A stole the headlines last week is Isle of Man Banks Men’s Division 1 as they defied logic and form beating Peel A 2-8 in the Sunset City. Port have been below underachieving until now but they proved they can still be a destructive force in the top flight as they crushed the Govags and left them no place to hide or take shelter. This win drags them off the bottom of the pile and they will be hoping they can gather momentum and that the remainder of their season will be a little more plain sailing from now on.
Onchan A returned to the top of the tree after an 8-2 home win over Ballaugh A. They are now 2 points clear of early pace setters Marown, although they have played a game more that their rivals. There is a fixture break now until after TT but all eyes will be fixed on the park on 10th June as the Champions host the Crosby outfit in a top of the table shoot out which is too close to call. If Marown win they will return to the top of the table with a game in hand and be in a great position however if they lose they will want to get as close as they can to the mighty Champions to keep them in the hunt and be afford them the opportunity of cashing in the extra game they have in their bank.
Third placed Douglas A kept things moving along nicely as they dispatched Nobles Mixed 8-2 at the Villa Marina. Fourth placed Castletown A picked up a good 8-2 win over their B team keeping them just two points behind the Elixir Drinkers. Town are set to host the Douglas Men out and you really cannot predict what is going to happen. This fixture has the potential to overshadow the scheduled main event and if both team are on their games and come out all guns blazing there will certainly be fireworks. Whatever happens the victors of this highly anticipated showdown will find them in pole position for the hotly contested third place.
South Ramsey A won the Ramsey derby with a solid 7-3 win over North Ramsey A to keep themselves in the hunt for a rostrum finish come September. South will be hoping their rivals can cancel each other out and if they can pick up some good away at Ballaugh A they could find themselves closer to the action than they are now.
I think when I next write my league report things will be a little clearer, both at the top ant the bottom of the table. Division One has provided everything this year in terms of excitement and we are still on course for the most enthralling closely run contests in over a decade, however the next set of fixtures gives all the main contenders a chance to throw down the gauntlet to rest and make a statement.
It is easy to continually focus on the top of the table but things are even more finally balanced at the bottom with only three points separating the bottom six teams, they are so close you could throw a blanket over them.
Port Erin A bounced back in spectacular style in division 2 taking out Douglas B 8-2 to return to the top of the table. I still believe they are in line for promotion however they will need to find some consistency and start stringing some results together to keep themselves at the summit.
Port St Mary B maintained their unbeaten record with a 7-3 victory over Peel B. They are on equal points with their rivals and if they keep stringing the results together they are the more likely to take top honours at the end of the season. The only question mark surrounds their firepower, do they have enough to pick up the big wins usually required to win a championship? A tricky trip to Castletown D next time out could go somewhere to answering that question.
Castleotown C have now strung 3 wins in a row together and they finally leapfrog their D team into third place after beating them 8-2 at the Crofts. They are only two points off the lead and they certainly do have the potential to pick up big wins, consistency is the key for Town if they want to try and become the first club in history to have three teams in the top tier, promotion is not out of reach.
Division Three leaders Onchan C lost the only remaining 100% record from any division as they fell 6-4 away at Peel D. They are still four points clear at the top and favourites to pick up the trophy however this will have brought them down to earth a little after a brilliant start.
Nobles Park A are still in second and had to work hard for their 6-4 victory away at South Ramsey C. Port Erin B are the team on a charge and a great 8-2 result against North Ramsey B sees them move into third spot equal on points with Park. Park host Port B when we return after the fixture break with the result being crucial in the battle for promotion.