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Ballyclare Rugby Club 1st XV went down at home on Saturday to old rivals Carrick in Qualifying 2 which means the Clare side have lost the first two games while Carrick remain unbeaten from three starts.The game was sponsored by S.D.E. Decorators , the match ball sponsored by Ian Morrow and Man of Match award by Derek Moore. Unfortunately home prop David Tweed had to go off early in the second half with an eye injury so the Clare were a mandown but on the day they failed to take scoring chances in the first quarter and seldom threatened in the second half. On the positive side the Seconds coached by Gareth Johnston got their first win at home 25-17 against Ballymoney 2nds but the Thirds went down heavily 35-5 away to Donaghadee 2nd Xv.
Ballyclare 14 Carrick 19

Early pressure from the home side forced two penalties inside the pening four minutes but Clotworthy was off target. Carrick came more into the game but skipper Logan made ground and Russell kicked to a good position to enable Morrow,Logan and Moore to get close to the visitor`s line.Moore seemed over but the try was not given.Next a positive surge from Clotworthy put Weatherup in for atry only for Clotworthy to miss the conversion. The 5-0 home lead could have been more than doubled. Following another promising Weatherup run Carrick were penalised for a high tackle but sadly once again Clotworthy was unable to convert. Whittle also missed a kick for the visitors as they made ground. From another Carrick penalty they kicked deep and forced the home team off side for Whittle to slot over the kick and cut the lead to 5-3. Immediately the Clare hit back with a penalty and this time Morrow took over the duty and slotted it over for a 8-3 lead. However this was short lived as Whittle put over a penalty for Carrick as the home team was deemed to be off side so it was 8-6 to Ballyclare at half time but really the chances had been there for a much bigger lead.
Early second half pressure brought a penalty and again Morrow was on target to take an 11-6 lead. At this stage Home prop Tweed went off with an eye injury and though Carrick had an earllier man off with a yellow card the home pack was under constsnt pressure. Then a kick ahead almost gave King a chance but it was the visitors who hit back with another Whittle penalty to reduce the arrears to 11-9. This led to a period of pressure by Carrick and they were rewarded when the scrum half went in for a tryconverted by Whittle to deservedly lead by 16-11.Next ahome penalty enabled Morrow to reduce the lead to 16-14 but Carrick by virtue of an injury time penalty from Whittle increased their lead at the close to 19-14. They probably deserved the win due to the efforts in the second half but Ballyclare rued those first half chances which could have brought a clear cut win.Up front Rob Boyd,Logan and Johnston got through a fair amount of work but sadly there was little cutting edge behind the scrum.
Team–G.Clotworthy;G.Weatherup,J.Reid,J.Jackson,G.King;I.Russell,C.Morrow; A.Boyd,A.Wylie,D.Tweed;K.Johnston,R.Boyd;N.Moore,W.Logan (capt),M.Crothers.
Ballyclare 2nds 25 Ballymoney 2nds 17
The Seconds backs showed good first half form in this Junior 1 league game at the Cloughan.They built up a lead of 20-3 at the interval and got off to a bright start when Nial Lawther raced in for a try which was converted by Gareth Byers. An earlier penalty from Byers helped the side to a 10-0 lead In a rare attack the visitors kicked a penalty to cut the home lead. Then a powerful run from Gillan enabled Lawther to go over near the corner for a score and Byers addad the points. He also slotted over a drop goal for a clear cut lead at the break. In the second half Chris Gillan went in near the corner for the third try to increase the lead to 25-3. At this stage the `Money showed better form as the Seconds tended to sit back. A couple of converted tries made it 25-17 and the Clare boys had to hang on to get what was a closer win but a valuable one. There were sound performances by gareth Boyd and Noel Smith in the back row plus Chris Gillan, Gareth Byers and Nial Lawther in the backs
Donaghadee 2nds 35 Ballyclare 3rds 5
This was always going to be a tough task for Tony Turner`s Thirds as the Dee 1st XV have been promoted to Qual.1 and are unbeaten after three starts with a positive knock on effect for their 2nd XV. The Clare boys did well to hold it to 12-0 at the interval with the Dee getting two scores but they steamed ahead with four more second half tries. The Thirds did manage a consolation try from Simon Reid near the end. There were good performances from prop Clark McCartney,flanker Chris Gawn, out half Andrew Alexander and Simon Reid but according to skipper Turner the home side was just too strong in the second half.
SATURDAY FIXTURES–1st Xv v Grosvenor F.P. (away); 3rd XV v Grosvenor 2nds (home); Under 19 Xv v Letterkenny (away); WEDNESDAY 21st 4th XV v Grosvenor 4th XV (home) –7-30 p.m.

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