Winners of Manx Cup and Manx Plate to be decided
Report by Dave Christian:
The curtain finally falls on the domestic Rugby season this Saturday with the finals of the Ravenscroft Manx Cup and Plate competitions, both of which will be played at Ramsey’s Mooragh Park Ground. The action gets underway at 12.00pm with an U15 friendly between a combined Ramsey/Douglas & Vagabonds. At 1.45pm it’s the Manx Plate final between Ramsey B and Emerging Nomads and the afternoon is rounded off at 4.00pm with the Manx Cup Final between Ramsey and Vagabonds.
The Plate final promises to be a tight affair. In the two previous Plate meetings Nomads won at Mooragh Park while Ramsey just sneaked the win at Ballakilley. Neil Hulme’s Ramsey side have home advantage, not that it counts for much on the IOM and the club faces some difficult decisions with team selections. They have however some selection bonuses. Abuu Migoda and Ali Trace are both likely to be on Island and Callum Clague’s shift patterns means he can’t make a 4.00pm kick off. They will however miss Juan Callister who injured a shoulder in a racing accident. Nomads skipper Mike Quayle should have Percy Hampton available to provide a bit of vavoom around the field and the experience of Al Corrin in the back line will help keep things on track. The last meeting had a two point margin so expect another close encounter here.
On paper, the Cup final doesn’t look quite so close. The Cup however is a rather magical piece of silverware and can inspire on its day. Ramsey must however start as clear favourites. The men in red are unbeaten in all competitions this season and are five out of five against Vagas. Dan Richmond at nine is a points machine and Ramsey’s flyer Brandon Atchison has scored seven tries against Vagabonds this season. Inside the pack Ramsey’s player of the year Adam Dunlop is in fine form too and Ramsey have threats from all over the team. Cam Findlay is at the heart of Vagas’ attack and Hope Chirengwa bagged two in the semi against Nomads to indicate he’s found some late season form. Vagas will need some grafters in the back row though and in Mark Oldfield and Nathan Gibson they have two of the best. If these guys can hit their straps, Ramsey will have problems but they’ll need to do it consistently for eighty minutes to snaffle the Cup this year.
Fixtures 14 May
Ramsey/Douglas v Vagabonds @ Mooragh Park ko 12.00pm
Ravenscroft Manx Plate Final
Ramsey B v Emerging Nomads @ Mooragh Park ko 1.45pm
Ravenscroft Manx Cup Final
Ramsey v Vagabonds @ Mooragh Park ko 4.00pm