Laxey fielded a very young team, at least seven eighteen years or under against a Peel team with strength in depth, and despite some really good play, ended up on the wrong end of a 6 - 1 defeat.
Dave Screech Corlett was absent with an eye injury and his place was taken by Rob McCowliffe, and Mikey Haslett, so influential in the previous game, was away.
Peel had picked up five of our previous 'stars' in the close season, with Shaun Kelly starting for them, and Jonny Shields and Matt Skillicorn as subs.
Peel took an early lead with a headed goal, and were two up with a shot from the left with about 15 minutes gone. During that period Laxey appeared to havre a good shout for a penalty, but it was not awarded.
Laxey were on the back foot in the initial stages, though Sean Gavin had a good shot just wide.
Peel scored a third goal with just over twenty minutes gone, and then Laxey came back into the game.
George Burrows showed good play and composure in the middle, against strong opposition and in a good Laxey attack Michael Fernandes put a good ball through to Matty Wilkinson who had a shot which hit the post and could so easily have gone in to get Laxey back into the game, and their play at the time deserved better.
Rob McCowliffe took a nasty knock to his head in the first half and because of the injury he had to be replaced at half time by Jeremy Lovett, and Dave Reynolds took Rob's place in the back four.
Laxey started the second half brightly, and in fact had a much better second half. Joe Walters and Sean Gavin worked well together to feed Michael F and his shot was blocked.
Another good run and play by Joe Walters, and his shot hit the post with the keeper and defence beaten, so close to a goal.
Michael battled hard and closed down the Peel keeper and managed to win a corner for Laxey.
Joe had a shot over the bar, and in defence Dave Reynolds made a great tackle. Dave and Andrew Burkitt were under a lot of pressure, but combined well to keep Peel out. Matty W put in a great tackle to put the ball out for a corner, and from a corner Dave R made a great header to deny onrushing Peel attackers.
More good work by Sean led to a shot by Matty W having to be saved. Sean took a free kick from distance which was just over and at this stage Laxey were holding their own.
Dave Reynolds at the back was commanding in the air and on the ground and his physicality and commitment was an example to the younger players, who all continued to play good and thoughtful football.
Peel had a breakaway and after a defensive error, scored to make it 4 - 0 with 20 minutes of the second half gone.
Laxey kept attacking and we saw a good move between Joe, Sean and Michael, a good run by Matty, and then a shot wide from Michael. A good spell of ten minutes where Laxey were playing attractive football.
Paul Gavin, in his debut game for the First team put in a battling performance at full back, and showed that his speed is a real asset to the defence, and he was replaced by Ollie Cain with twenty minutes to go.
Jez Lovett and Joe combined in some good play - and Dave Reynolds put in a great tackle on ex-Laxey player Matt Skillicorn who had come on as sub for Peel. Also coming on as sub for Peel was Jonny Shields.
Peel scored a fifth goal, an unstoppable volley direct from a corner, and no blame could be attached to Andy Ball for any of the Peel goals.
Stan Manning came on for Sean and impressed in his time on the pitch.
Laxey had a shot diverted for a corner after a good cross from Ollie Cain. With 30 minutes gone Laxey scored. Stan had a good run and put a ball into the box and Joe, at the far post, headed in to make the score 5 - 1.
There was another great block on Matt Skillicorn by Dave Reynolds, and Andy Ball made a good save, tipping a ball over the bar for a corner.
Matty W went on another good run, and then Dave put in a third goal saving tackle on Skillicorn.
Peel scored again to make it six, with a follow up from a blocked shot.
Andy made another good save, and Dave headed yet another ball clear from a dangerous corner.
The game ended with what appeared to be a heavy defeat, but throughout Laxey played good football. They were sometimes overwhelmed by the power and strength of Peel who have a good squad.
A note on the pattern of play - Peel scored all their goals in the first quarter of the game and in the last quarter, and the corners and other shots had a similar pattern.
Laxey did fade in the last fifteen minutes, which gave Peel the flattering last three goals, so every player needs to make sure they are as fit as possible to withstand the strong top teams like Peel.
The play of the youngsters such as Jake Garvey, Andrew Burkitt, George, Stan and Ollie is sometimes a joy to behold - they are so calm, use the ball well, and always try to keep possession and pass the ball. With time and experience these players could dominate. The other youngsters, now well established, Joe and Matty have such enthusiasm and speed and will always be a threat to any defence. So the future is looking good.
And a note to all the other players at the Club - we have other very good young players and it is disappointing that the Combination has not been able to field a team in the last two weeks - please don't give up - the Combination is so far unbeaten and playing in a strong Combination is the route to First Team football, which on the evidence so far, all our youngsters will achieve
Sean put in an all action performance, and his link up with Joe and Michael is crucial to the team. There were good first team debuts by Jez and Paul Gavin, so important to give Laxey some depth.
Despite the defeat, the players can hold their heads up with a good overall performance.
As to Man of the Match, Matty, Joe and Andrew figured strongly in voting, but the Man of the Match goes to a player who led by example, particularly in the second half, with his determination, commitment and physicality.
He hardly put a foot - or head - wrong all game and had an outstanding game - so the Greens in the Valley Man of the Match is;
Shots on Target 2 8
Shots off Target 8 7
Corners 5 6