Carrickfergus RFC Notes: The Maxol-sponsored Carrick 1st XV were well beaten by a useful looking Randalstown team at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday 15 September

3 minutes, 24 seconds Read

The final score of 37 points to 24 to the visitors perhaps suggests a harder fought game than it really was. In truth, Randalstown, down to fourteen men after thirty minutes because of an injury to one of their centres, dominated for long periods and in most aspects of the game.Carrick’s brief flurry in the last quarter, which brought them two tries, never looked like turning into a miraculous come-back.
The home side were under pressure at the scrum, out-played by the powerful Randalstown pack in the loose and their talented backs were given too few opportunities, at least until it was too late, to display their attacking skills. There were some good individual performances from Carrick. Andy Kincaid and Curtis Rea put in good second half performances in the loose, Johnny Sheriff made some stylish line-breaks, and his goal-kicking was excellent in the difficult conditions, while Karl Love showed once again that he is a real attacking threat on the wing. Overall though Carrick failed to use the (admittedly mixed) blessing of the breeze behind them in the first half and allowed the visitors to go into half-time with a 19 points to 10 lead. Randalstown then made full use of the elements in the second half and, apart from a five minute spell around the sixty-five minute mark, Carrick rarely looked like getting into the game.
Carrick started brightly enough and took the lead with a Johnny Sheriff penalty after ten minutes. Five minutes later though they made a complete hash of a line-out on their own line and Randalstown gathered and dived over. The try was not converted but , after twenty minutes, some good ball handling and driving by the Randalstown pack, and poor first up tackling by Carrick, allowed the visitors to get in under the posts. This try was converted to give them a 12 points to 3 lead. In the thirty-first minute, Carrick showed what they are capable of when a well-timed pass from Sheriff put Aaron McKinney in space and he in turn fed Karl Love who beat a covering defender to score in the corner. Johnny Sheriff put over an excellent conversion to bring Carrick back to within two points. However, with half-time approaching, the visitors, playing effectively with ball in hand into the breeze, again used their forward power to drive up to and over the Carrick line. This try was also converted to give Randalstown a 19 points to 10 half-time lead.
The visitors were totally dominant in the third quarter and ran in two more tries in the first ten minutes of the second half. The first of these was converted and they added penalties after thirteen and twenty minutes of the half to take a 37 points to 10 lead. Going into the final quarter, Carrick at last began to establish some field position and, after two quick tap penalties, Andy Kincaid drove over for the home side’s second try This was converted by Johnny Sheriff and, just three minutes later, the out-half split the Randalstown defence and went in under the posts. He again added the conversion points. However, this did not prove to be the start of a Carrick fight back and Randalstown finished out the game playing in Carrick territory as they had for most of the second half.
After the optimism following the away win at Larne, there is plenty for Carrick to reflect on before their next fixture away to Omagh on 29 September.
The Carrick team which faced Randalstown was:
A. McIlroy; K. Jordan, A. Moore, A. McKinney(Capt), K. Love; J. Sheriff, G. Picken; A. Gibney, G. Baxter, E. McBrien, C. Rea, A. Kincaid, N. Hanna, R. Higgins, N. Greenwood.
There was better news for Carrick from the Under 19s who beat Ballyclare by 48 points to 12 in their first match of the season. Dean Henderson got a hat-trick of tries but Peter McFarland, on his Carrick debut, was named man of the match by head coach Stuart Hawthorne.
Fixtures for Saturday 22 September are:
1st XV-no match
2nd XV vs Coleraine II, home
3rd XV vs Dungannon IV ,home
4th XV vs Ards IV, away

Similar Posts