Tournament director’s report for matches involving the Isle of Man squad at the recent Men’s County Championships:
Men’s County Championship, B Division Pool 4, Neston HC
Isle of Man 2 – 3 Durham
The second game on Saturday saw a very late comeback from Durham. There were no goals in a tight first half, but the Isle of Man took a two goal lead in the third quarter with AndyWhiting scoring both, before James Sherrington pulled one back for Durham just before the quarter time break. The Manxmen defended their narrow lead doggedly, until Ed Beak equalised for Durham in the 66th minute. Matty Breeze then scored the winner from Durham in the 69th minute moments after returning from a yellow-card suspension.
Isle of Man 2 – 4 Cheshire
Things started early on the Sunday, with Cheshire playing the Isle of Man at 9am in cool and cloudy conditions. Unlike in their game on Saturday, Cheshire got off on the right foot, with Connor Miller scoring after just 90 seconds. The Islanders turned things round to take a 2-1 lead, with Alex Bell and Andy Whiting scoring, before Cheshire netted three times in six minutes through a Joe Booth set piece double – a stroke and a PC – and a tap-in for Toby Sadri to round things off.
Northumberland 1 – 5 Isle of Man
Northumberland took the lead against the Isle of Man in both teams’ final game of the weekend with a magnificent flicked shot from Ibby Omar in the 20th minute, but they were unable to hang on, with the Manxmen scoring four goals in a seven minute spell either side of half time, through Alex Bell, Tim Henderson, their captain James Brown and Joseph Savage, before Alex Bell rounded off the scoring with his second and the Isle of Man’s fifth in the 62nd minute. The result meant that going in to the last game three of the four teams were on three points, with Cheshire out in front on six.
Thanks are due to David Alcock and his colleagues from Cheshire for hosting an excellent event at the very hospitable Neston club, and to the team of umpires and officials from across the North West who made themselves available for the weekend.
By David Ellcock, Tournament Director