Carrick RFC Club Notes: IXV v Donaghadee I, II v Portadown II, III v Monaghan II, IV v Civil Service

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The Maxol-sponsored Carrick 1st XV lost their League match with unbeaten Donaghadee at Woodlawn on Saturday 2 October by 23 points to 17.The visitors picked up a four try bonus point but Carrick came back strongly at the end to claim a losing bonus point. This was a match which the visitors dominated pretty much throughout, with their big pack very much on top in the scrum, and it was only some heroic defensive work which kept them from posting a bigger score. Athough on the back foot for most of the match, Carrick did compete well at the break-down, winning more than their fair share of turn-overs. Despite the scrummaging problems, the front row trio of Paul Greenaway, Richard Higgins and David McKeen were prominent as ball carriers and in defence. In the backs, Aaron McKinney had another very good game and his centre partner Wesley Anderson put in a lot of work in defence as well as contributing a number of line-breaks.
Carrick, playing with the breeze at their backs in the first half, were under pressure almost from the start. With the scrum going backwards and problems in the line-out, it was difficult for the home side’s half-backs to use the wind to gain territory. After thirteen minutes, Donaghadee took the lead with a penalty but , despite their dominance of possession, it was not until the tweny-fifth minute that they crossed the Carrick line. The try came after a sustained period of pressure and their scrum-half dived over after Carrick had failed to hold him in the tackle. The try was not converted. Ten minutes later, Carrick got their first points on the board from a Johnny Sheriff penalty to make the score 8 points to 3 in the visitors’ favour.The first half finished with Carrick under pressure and down to fourteen men because of a yellow card.
Donagahdee , with the elements now in their favour,began the second half camped in and around the Carrick 22 and after ten minutes they scored their second try when Carrick lost control of the ball on their own line-out throw and the Donaghadee hooker raced in from 20 metres out. Again, the try was not converted. There then followed along period of Donaghadee dominance during which they made a complete hash of at least three try-scoring opportunities but eventually the pressure told and they added their third try after twenty-eight minutes of the half.The try on this occasion came from a line-out catch and drive and, again, was not converted. Five minutes later, the visitors scored their bonus point try when their out-half looped around to pick up a loose pass and go over after he had made the intitial break. The try was not converted and Donaghadee seemed to be cruising to a comforable win. However, they lost a forward to injury in the dying minutes and then seemed virtually to implode. With normal time up, Carrick picked up loose ball on the visitors’ 10 metre line and Wes Anderson and Stuart Currie made ground up to the line before second row Chris Rea dived over. Johnny Sheriff added the points. The, virtually from the kick-off, Anderson was again involved in putting Aaron Mckinney away with a well timed pass and the inside centre beat the covering defence to score. Again, Sheriff conveted.To the relief of the stunned visitors, the referee then blew for time leaving Donaghadee victors by 23 points to 17.
On the back foot almost throughout, this was a spirited effort by the young Carrick side against one of the strongest sides in the League and the last few minutes showed what they can if they can get good quality possession.
The Carrick team against Donaghadee was:
M. Gilmore; C. Jordan, W. Anderson, A. McKinney, B. Alexander; J. Sheriff, M. Patterson; D. McKeen, R. Higgins, P. Greenaway, S. Currie(Capt), C. Rea, N. Marsden, W. Johnston, A. McKeen.
The Carrick 2nd Xv lost by 31 points to 24 away to Portadown II. The tries came from Ian Turner, who got two, and Glen Picken. Picken also converted the three tries and kicked a penalty. Carrick were once again hampered by not being able, because of injury and ill discipline, to finish with fifteen men on the field.
The 3rd XV had another big win, beating Monaghan II by 50 points to 19. The tries came from Robert Ford, William McLean, Terry McCracken(whose inclusion doubled the average age of this young team!), Nathan Greenwood, Jamsey Porter(2) and Ross Moore(2). Kris James kicked five conversions. Scott McCormick was awarded “man of the match”.
The 5th XV continued their unbeaten start to the League, beating Civil service II38 points to 6 with tries from Danny Flowers(2), Stephen Martin, Craig Clarke and Ross Hunter. Stephen Martin kicked four conversions and one penalty. “Man of the match” was shared betwen Craig Wallace and Danny Flowers.
The Youth teams played Ballynahinch and, while the Under 17s lost by 22 points to 18, the Under 15s won by 39 points to 15 and the Under 13s by 24 points to 5.
Fixtures for Saturday 9 October are:
1st XV vs BHSFP, home, League
2nd XV vs Instonians III, away , League
3rd XV vs Lurgan II, home , League
5th Xv vs Holywood V, away, League
Youth teams away to Banbridge in the League and the minis have training.

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