Carrickfergus Rugby Club Notes: I XV 5 v Clogher Valley RFC I XV 21

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The Maxol-sponsored Carrick 1st XV lost their Junior Cup quarter-final encounter with Section 1 side Clogher Valley by 21 points to 5 at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday 10 November. As in the previous week against Gosvenor, Carrick played against the wind in the first half and held their opponents to a single score but again could not turn things around in the second half. This time, it was not a failure to use the elements to play in the right areas; rather, it was down to a combination of not taking chances, one awful lapse in concentration in defence and the ability of their opponents to keep them under pressure. Carrick were not helped by losing their skipper Aaron McKinney to injury after twenty-five minutes but fought hard against their well-drilled opponents and, apart from the one serious lapse, their defence was for the most part good. Andy Mcilroy again kicked well out of hand and Adam Gibney and Ryan McGonigle carried well. Johnny Sheriff , Jason Wady and John Anderson made a number of line-breaks and, with better support running and finishing, Carrick could have had more than just the solitary try for their efforts.
Things started badly for Carrick when the visitors forced their way over after a line-out catch and drive with just three minutes gone. The try was converted and Clogher were a shade unlucky not to get a second try when, following the kick-off, Carrick failed to deal with a high ball and it was hacked down towards their line but the chasing Clogher players could not gather and the ball was kicked dead. From then on, Carrick did well in containing Clogher and, although their scrum was under pressure early on, it improved as the half wore on. Although the visitors dominated territory, Carrick had their chances, particularly with a great break by Jason Wady after twenty-five minutes but the ball was knocked on as the centre tried to get his pass away. The half finished with Clogher pressing strongly but the Carrick defence held firm and the whistle went with the visitors leading by 7 points to nil.
Carrick got just the start they needed to the second half. They were awarded a scrum on the Clogher 22 after two minutes and, although under pressure, No 8 Ryan McGonigle picked up ,made ground and was on hand to take a return pass and drive into the visitors’ 22; the ball was then re-cycled and moved to the backs wher Jason Wady stepped a defender to go over near the touch-line. The try was not converted but Carrick were very much back in the match. However, the visitors came back strongly and Carrick conceded a number of penalties under pressure. From one of these, Clogher took a quick tap and the home side were caught napping allowing their opponents to virtually walk over near the posts. There was, however, a suspicion of a forward pass in the move. The try was converted to give Clogher a 14 points to 5 lead after ten minutes of the second half. Ten minutes later, Carrick should have been right back in things when Adie Moore ran sixty metres from inside his own 22 following a Clogher turne- over. However, when the ball was re-cycled, Carrick, inexplicably, tried to move it back inside when the way seemed clear for a try in the corner and the chance was lost. The home side did continue to play most of the game in Clogher territory up until the last ten minutes but they couuld not create any further chances. The visitors closed the game out with a well taken try by their out-half with about eight minutes remaining. Following a series of picks and drives up to the Carrick line, he neatly stepped a defender to score under the posts. The try was converted. Carrick did spend the last few minutes pressing strongly but the Clogher defence held out comfortably and they finished deserved winners. However, Carrick did perhaps merit something closer than the final 21 points to 5 margin.
Next week it is back to League action when Carrick travel to Enniskillen to take on the form side in Section 2.
The Carrick team which faced Clogher Valley was:
A. McIlroy; A. Moore, J. Anderson, J. Wady, A. McKinney(Capt) (N. Marsden); J. Sheriff, R. Hamilton, E. Peacock, N. Hannah, A. Gibney, A. Kincaid, C. Rea, N. Greenwood, R. Crymble, R. McGonigle.
Fixtures for Saturday 17 November are:-
1st XV vs Enniskillen, away
2nd XV vs CIYMS, home
3rd XV vs Grosvenor, away

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