Under 17 Ballyclare 61-0
Under 15 Ballyclare 47-12
Under 13 Ballyclare 53-10
Saturday saw Carrickfergus RFC Youth start their build up to the start of their league campaign with friendly fixtures at home against local East Antrim neighbours Ballyclare. The youth, once again sponsored by local company Nk Fencing Ltd where eager to get started competitive fixtures having had a productive preseason training schedule in the month of August.
Carrick under 17’s posted over 60 points against their counter parts from Ballyclare who made no response in this derby friendly at Tom Simms. The young Carrick team were simply too hot to handle for a less experienced but very game ‘Clare. Right from the start it was clear that Carrick meant business. They had speed and speed of thought; they had brutality and they played with intelligence belying their tender years. Carrick are current U15 Ulster Cup holders but Ulster development training in the summer at U16 and U17 level has been a thorn in the side of pre-season plans for the coaching staff. Even so the boys hit the ground running and showed that the summer camps have borne fruit. Captain John Stewart recently promoted from Ulster 16’S to 17’s demonstrated the reason in a 5 star performance which included 5 tries. Sam Wallace, also elevated to 17’s status, scored 3 scorching tries and hit 5 conversions. It was not all however about the sizable ‘Ulster’ contingent as big Matty Best in conjunction with the very impressive John Turner bullied their way through the morning’s proceedings. The inside 3 of live wire Cambridge, Wallace and the formidable presence of Jake Porter tortured the Ballyclare defence and backed up by Jake Gardner, Cody Surgeoner and two props Corey Kelly and Rory Magill who played more like back rowers took total control. The back 3 hardly troubled were able to release Whitall and the speed Dylan McDowell to great effect. Some of the quality of the rugby left the large crowd in raptures enjoying the late summer sunshine and the introduction of Thomas O’Callaghan and the latest Ulidia recruit Jordan Atchison added to the enjoyment. James Carson, Andrew Campbell, Aaron Rea and Jamie McCracken who scored a debut try all showed that Carrick are a squad to be reckoned with. The inclusion of Neil Beggs back from injury and with the magic of Matty Fisher to come whets the appetite for the season to come.
There will of course be much tougher days at the office but this will do for a start! M.O.M Cody Surgeoner.
Meanwhile at U15 level a squad of 28 players turned up to play for Carrick but unfortunately Ballyclare could only field 12 players which meant some reshuffling of the home sides game plan. Having agreed to play three 20 minute sessions Carrick fielded their strongest side first, minus new loosehead prop Karl McCallum who suffered an eye injury in the warm up which required stitching. Carrick playing against a much bigger pack immediately fronted up in the physical contest with in particular Daniel McBurney, Matty Justin and Josh Mitchell impressive in the contact zone. During this first period of play Carrick raced into an impressive 24-0 lead with some pleasing displays of ball retention and handling skills. In the second period the home side made 9 changes giving debuts to a number of new players. Ballyclare rallied in this period of play and outscored the home side by two converted tries and a single try leaving the score at 29-12 to the home side. In the final 20 minute session the home side’s superior fitness now began to show and three more unanswered tries left the final score at 47-12 to Carrick U15s. Coaches Glen McCord and Marty Lusty were happy with this the first run of the season but know there is a great deal more potential from this young side. Man of the match of Carrick was “Dangerous Daniel McBurney” who was both ferocious in attack and defence.
Finally, Carrick U13s rounded off a clean sweep of victories against Ballyclare posting a score of 53-10 in favour of the home side. Star performer was Josh Beasant who helped himself to no less and six tries in this his debut for the U13s with Ryan Wilson, Nathan McErlean and AJ Hussell also getting on the score sheet. James Heyburn also knocked over 4 conversions. Coaches Andy Bell and Richard Higgins were delighted with the performance in particular the sides’ aggressive running and continuity play.
Any young player, who is interested in playing rugby at CRFC should come along to training on Wednesday nights. Training starts at 7pm at Tom Simms Memorial Park, Woodburn Road, Carrickfergus.