Carrick Rugby Club Notes: II, III, & U19 XV v Cooke II, Randalstown, Ballymena U19

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After a poor start to the season, the Carrick 2nd XV have now won three of their last four games, beating Cooke II- the team that pipped them to the title last season-by 31 points to 3 at Woodlawn on Saturday 30 October. Carrick dominated the line-out, thanks to Terry McCracken and Chris Ferris, and were the clear winners at the break-down. Indeed, apart from a period in the middle of the first half and in the last ten minutes, Cooke found it very diffficult to hang onto the ball for more than a few phases. The Carrick backs, with plenty of quality possession, showed good attacking flair and Daryll Crothers, with two tries, picked up “man of the match”. There was also some excellent ball-carrying by the forwards, with Ross Crymble particularly prominent and well supported by Richard Higgins, Chris Patterson and Will Johnston. The aggressive defence of the backs was effective, with Mark Anderson and Kris James putting in some big hits.
Carrick started brightly and took the lead on ten minutes when a line-break by Richard Higgins put flanker Will Johnston away for a try under the posts. Ricky Moore added the conversion points. Cooke came back with a penalty after eightheen minutes and there then followed a rather scrappy second quarter, with both sides making mistakes and finding it difficult to mount effective attacks. Half-time was reached with Carrick still leading by 7 points to 3.
Carrick got the best possible start to the second half when, after two minutes, Ross Crymble picked up loose ball, made ground into the Cooke 22 and fed Daryll Crothers who went in at the corner. Ricky Moore could not convert from a difficult angle. Three minutes later a well timed inside pass from Chris Patterson to Wes Anderson coming in on the angle allowed the full-back to go right through the Cooke pack and score under the posts. Ricky Moore kicked the conversion to put Carrick 19 points to 3 in the lead. Carrick continued to dominate, apart from a five minute spell when Cooke were camped in and around the Carrick 22 , but it was not until the last five minutes that they added to their score. First, a beautifully placed kick by Glen Picken was well chased by Daryll Crothers and the winger gathered to go over under the posts . Ricky Moore added the points. Then, in the dying seconds, Kris James forced his way over after Carrick had won quick ruck ball on the Cooke line. The position had been set up by an arcing run by the impressive Ross Crymble. The conversion was missed and Carrick finished as 31 points to 3 winners.
This was a good all round performance by Carrick and they are starting to show that they are a side to be reckoned with.
The Carrick team was:
W.Anderson; I. Turner, M. Anderson, K. James, D. Crothers; R. Moore, G. Picken; E. McBrown, R. Higgins, J. Hagan(Capt), T. McCracken, C. Ferris, C. Patterson, W. Johnston, R. Crymble.
The Carrick 3rd XV, sponsored by Crown Decorating Centres, beat Randalstown by 17 points to 9, also at Woodlawn, making it six wins in a row. The tries came from Willy McClean, Chris Wallace and Jonathan Smyth who also kicked a conversion. “Man of the match” went to Johnny McIlwaine.
The Under 19s, sponsored by IBS, beat Ballymena by 24 points to 14. The Carrick tries were scored by Nathan Greenwood, Reece Hamilton, Marcus Brush and Ross Moore, with Adam Kendell converting two. James Simmonds was awarded “man of the match”.
The fixtures for Saturday 6 November are:
1st and 2nd XVs- no matches
3rd XV vs Ophir II, home
4th XV vs Ards IV, home
5th XV vs Randalstown, away
Under 19s vs Randalstown, away
Under 17s, Under 15s and Under 13s away to Ballynahinch
Minis at home to Malone

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