Pictured is quite a shot! Carrick English Supporter and Australia Supported, one def has a little smirk on his face!
The Carrick 1st XV avenged their Junior Cup defeat by Larne a week earlier by winning the League encounter at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday 3 October by 22 points to 18. This week’s game followed a remarkably similar pattern to the Junior Cup game, with Carrick over-turning a similar half-time deficit to get into the lead but this time they held on as Larne dominated territory and possession in the closing stages. The Carrick scrum became more dominant as the game progressed and they definitely had the better of the line-out battle, taking at least four on Larne’s throw. For the second week in a row Ryan McGonigle was Carrick’s stand-out player, making a lot of yards as a ball carrier and putting in some thumping tackles. The returning Andy Kinkaid was influential in scrum, line-out – he made a couple of the “steals”on the Larne throw – and the loose. Centre Reece Hamilton had an excellent game both in attack and defence and his mid-field partner Ryan Bailey ran some good lines and accounted for two of the Carrick tries.
The first quarter was something of a nightmare for Carrick, with a lot of handling, kicking, passing and defensive errors. Larne deservedly took the lead after 5 minutes when they ran back a poor Carrick clearance kick, re-cycled and moved left to go over in the corner. The try was not converted but Larne continued to dominate territory although were unable to profit from the errors from the home side. Then, at the end of the first quarter, and somewhat against the run of play, the home side drew level when Ryan McGonigle got the touch-down after a line-out catch and drive. The try was not converted and Larne hit back almost immediately when their outside centre was allowed to run fifty metres down the left wing to score in the corner. This try was converted from a difficult angle to give the visitors a 12 points to 5 lead.
Although Carrick were by now beginning to settle into their rhythm, Larne continued to have the better of the territorial battle and added two more penalties before the break to go into half-time with an 18 points to 5 lead.
Just as in the previous week, the home side had much the better of the third quarter, with scrum dominance beginning to be established and aided by a Larne yellow card. Carrick got their second try ten minutes into the half, again following a line-out catch and drive but this time the ball was moved wide and Ryan Bailey forced his way over. Luke Whitall added the conversion points to reduce the deficit and then put over a penalty from 45 metres out five minutes later to leave Larne leading by just 3 points. The home side then took the lead with twenty minutes of the second half gone; the visitors fumbled the ball after being put under pressure at a scrum just outside their 22, Carrick gathered and Ryan Bailey ran an excellent line to go over near the posts. Luke Whitall converted and Carrick now led by 22 points to 18. In the last ten minutes of normal time, and during a lengthy period of injury time, Larne applied pressure but some excellent defending, and defensive scrummaging, by the home side kept them out to give Carrick their second win in two outings in the League.
This was another close game between the two sides but Carrick probably deserved the victory both for the way they put things right after a poor start and their solidity in defence in the end. On Saturday 10 October Carrick travel to Roughfort to play Academy who in successive weeks have beaten Donaghadee and Ballymoney and will provide a good test of where Carrick are at in their quest to go one better than last year’s second place finish in the League.
The Carrick team which faced Larne was:-
A. McKinney; P. Simpson, R. Bailey, R. Hamilton, R. Crymble; L. Whitall, C. Cambridge; A. Gibney, N. Hanna, J. MacIlwaine (R. Williams), A. Kinkaid (A. McKeen), K. McNeil,C. Rodgers, R. Marsden, R. McGonigle.
The 2nd XV had a very one-sided 65-0 win against Banbridge 3s.
The 4th XV game against Holywood 2s was called off after 10 minutes when the referee was unable to continue.
The Youth Teams travelled to Magherafelt to take on Rainey. The Under 14s had an excellent 14-62 win but this couldn’t be emulated by the U16s and U 18s who were beaten 57-0 and 38-10 respectively.