Ellan Vannin Colts to welcome Wrexham
Report by Dave Christian:
Vagas take on Leigh this Saturday in the final home game of the 2022/23 season in Women's NC1 North West. Leigh are bottom of the standings with no wins from eleven fixtures. Vagas have missed out on the promotion places but two wins from their last two games could see them finish as high as third depending on other results. Vagas won the away fixture 41-25 so will be heading into this game feeling justifiably confident.
Regular props Corinna Daly and Nat Bush are both off the starting teamsheet. The latter is off-Island running a half marathon while Daly drops to the bench and may well make a late impact in the game. Jess Swales moves from hooker to loose-head, Ella Goodwin-Jones takes the hooker slot and Maisie Murray steps up to tight-head. Outside the pack there are no changes and skipper Lauren Ellison will lead her side in the ten jersey.
Kick off at Ballafletcher is at 12.30pm.
Ellan Vannin Colts take on Wrexham
The transition between Junior and Senior rugby has always been a difficult area. Age-grade rugby runs up to Under-15 level and then rolls into Under-18 (also known as Colts).
In rugby circles however it’s been difficult to retain players through the transition. Senior rugby doesn’t allow players under 17, however other sports do and the drop off rate has been historically high. This is exacerbated by the catchment area for Isle of Man Rugby and that patch of water which surrounds us.
A couple of brave souls have however risen to the post-covid challenge and decided to do something about it. Neil Collister and Neil Harmer are senior players at Southern Nomads and Ramsey respectively and after finding nothing but frustration at Colts, they’ve gone and set up a team themselves which they’ve named Ellan Vannin Colts.
The team have had a couple of games this season including a trip to Chester in the Cheshire Junior Cup where they raised more than a few eyebrows before losing 31-17. They were forced to concede the next cup game after they struggled to get a side available for the cut-off date. This weekend however, they have a home friendly against Wrexham.
All the Island Clubs are supporting the venture whether through providing players, kit or even a venue. Additionally, the clubs all agreed to play this week’s scheduled Manx Cup games midweek to allow this game to go ahead unhindered and without forcing their youngsters to choose. The game will be at Ramsey’s Mooragh Park ground and kick off is at 4.00pm.
The squad for the game is Lloyd Cawtherley, Euan Harmer, Leo McVicar, Ben Gelling, Drystan Sewell, Ryan Wren, Adam Breward, Tom Collister, Nathan Robson, Will Taylor, Tony Quinn, Sean Christian, Joey Callow, Raf Sinadjan, Luke Ward, Akira Pascual, Tom Whitbread, Callum Murray, George Nicholson and Nathan Brew.
Wrexham will be no slouches either and while many of the Ellan Vannin squad have been dipping their toes into senior rugby this season, this will be a tough game against a well drilled opposition.
Fixtures - Saturday, 1 April
Womens NC1 North West
Vagabonds v Leigh @ Ballafletcher ko 12.30pm
Ellan Vannin Colts v Wrexham Youth @ Mooragh Park ko 4.00pm