Carrick 1st XV 22 v Lisburn 1st XV 6

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The Maxol-sponsored Carrick 1st XV got their League campaign off to a good start at Woodlawn on Saturday 11 September with a comfortable 22 points to 6 victory over Lisburn. Although missing a number of regulars, Carrick always looked the stronger side, holding the visitors to a single penalty when they had the advantage of the wind in the first half and then taking firm control after half-time. Under 19s out-half Luke Whittal had a fine game on debut for the 1st XV and there were strong performances from the back row trio of John McDowell, Neil Marsden and Andy McKeen. Curtis Rea, standing in for the injured Andy Kincaid, also performed well as did Aaron Mckinney and Jason Wady in the backs, with the latter getting the “man of the match” award.
The first half was very much a start of the season affair with a lot of mistakes from both sides. Carrick were under a bit of pressure in the scrum early on but by half-time had sorted this out. Playing into a stiffish breeze, they nonetheless managed to prevent Lisburn from establishing any consistent territorial dominance and all the visitors had to show for their efforts by half-time was a penalty goal kicked in the sixteenth minute.
Carrick started the second half strongly and took the lead after three minutes with a try by open-side John McDowell. They won off the top line-out ball in the Lisburn 22, moved it left quickly, winger Johnny Sheriff stepped inside a defender, made the ball available and McDowell picked up to drive over. The try was not converted but, when Carrick ran back the kick-off, Jason Wady sliced open the Lisburn defence to race in under the posts. Luke Whittal added the conversion points to give Carrick a 12 points to 3 lead. The visitors eventually replied with a penalty after seventeen minutes but, by this stage, Carrick, with their scrum now looking much more solid, were begining to take a strong grip on the game. They were playing much of the game inside Lisburn territory and forcing them to try to attack from deep. With twenty-five minutes of the second half gone, Carrick extended their lead with a Luke Whittal penalty and then put the game beyond Lisburn’s reach with their third try.Lisburn turned over the ball on their own 10 metre line and it was gathered by Andy McKeen who fed Aaron McKinney and the full-back showed good pace to make it to the line without a hand being laid on him. Again, Whittal added the points to give Carrick a 22 points to 6 lead. From then until the end of the game, Carrick pretty well controlled the ball and territory to ensure that the visitors had little chance to reduce the deficit.
All in all, this was a good overall performance from Carrick and an encouraging start to the 2010/2011 League campaign.
The Carrick team was:
A. McKinney ; C. Jordan, J. Wady, M. McDowell, J. Sheriff; L. Whittal, G. Picken; J. Hagan, D. McKeen, P. Greenaway, S. Currie(Capt), C. Rea, N. Marsden, J. McDowell, A. McKeen.
The Carrick 2nd XV went down to a 48 points to 7 defeat by Armagh II but the 5th XV started their League campaign with a 20 points to 5 away win over Larne.The tries came from John Marshall, Craig Brazier and Gareth Clarke. Mark Kidd kicked a penalty and Stephen Martin converted one of the tries. “Man of the match” went to Neal Kennedy.
The Youth teams entertained Randalstown in friendlies, with the Under 13s and Under 15s winning and the Under 17s losing narrowly.
Mini rugby is back in full swing and any boys or girls who would like to take up the game are very welcome to come along at 9.30 on Saturday mornings.
On Saturday 18 September, all six senior sides are playing. The fixtures are:
1st XV vs UUC, away
2nd XV vs Ballymoney II, away
3rd XV vs Ballymoney III, away
4th XV vs CIYMS, home
5th XV vs PSNI II
Under 19s vs Randalstown, home(KO at mid-day)
Youth sides are away to Portadown

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