Reports Carrickfergus 1s 38 v Holywood 1s 0

5 minutes, 19 seconds Read

On a cold wet windy afternoon the Maxol Sponsored Carrick XV made the short trip to Holywood to secure a strong third consecutive league win with a deserved bonus point moving them into 2nd place in Qualifying 2 league. A dominate performance by Carrick forwards and slick handling with acute running angles by the backs combined together to provide a good team performance both in attacking phases and defence.

The first scrum of the game showed the dominance of the Carrick front row of Robbie Williams, Neil Hanna and Adam Gibney through strength and technique, pushing back the Holywood pack to provide clean ball for the returning Kenny Topping at scrum half. This clean ball fed the backs who used simple classic hands to feed the winger Kyle Jordan to score on the 5 minute point. With the deteriorating weather conditions Luke Whittle narrowly missed the conversion leaving the score at 5 points to nil. Holywood responded with the kick off that again was fumbled by the waiting Carrick forwards putting themselves under the first bit of pressure in defence. Holywood kicked the ensuing penalty into touch for a five metre line out to Holywood. The pressure was soon subsided with a good steal at the line out clearing their own lines to touch back up the field. From the line out Holywood passed the ball through the backs only to be caught crossing in front of the ball giving Luke Whittle the opportunity to put the ball into touch again giving Carrick forwards an attacking platform. This attack tempted Aaron McKinney to join the line cutting through the Holywood backs with a nimble step inside of the full back to giveCarrick a well worked converted score under the post on the 23rdminute. Once again from the start Carrick fumbled giving Holywood the put in at the scrum. But the now dominant scrum lead by Neil Hanna hooked the ball against the head and pushed the Holywood pack back. As the ball was recycled the forwards reorganised leaving the backs to show off their inter passing skills and finally give the supporting Chris Rogers a chance to carry the ball up the middle of the field running directly through the attempted tackles to score under the posts on the 28 minute mark. Luke Whittle took the simple conversion giving the team a 19 point margin. Another poor response from Carrick at the kick off eventually caught Carrick off side allowing Holywood to kick to touch. From the line out Ross Marsden was up to the attacking Holywood line like a bullet taking the man and ball to ground to win a penalty to Carrick for not releasing. From an ensuing Carrick scrum deep in Holywood’s 22, Carrick forwards really turned the pressure on keen to secure the bonus point try before half time by all eight forwards working in harmony to push the Holywood pack back 10 metres under the control of No. 8 Ryan McGonigle. The clean ball was eventually fed back to the ever running Curtis Rea who once again gave the try scoring pass to Andy Kinkaid for him to finish off the 30 metre sprint through numerous tackles to score the converted bonus point try under the post on the 37 minute. During the conversion the players were roused by a recital of the 12 days of Christmas from the choir of the Carrickfergus RFC black tie Christmas pub crawl. Of course Carrick have been here before and was not going to allow the game to be turned around as Holywood still pushed forward to break the Carrick defence, but Holywood didn’t know Andrew Kinkaid was now on a roll as with hardly time to get his breath from the last 30 metre sprint, he was offered another 40 metre sprint to the line after breaking a tackle fortunately Chris Rogers his second row partner was in close support to take over the sprint for the line. This time though the Holywood full back took hold of our attacking player and managed to fumble the ball to touch on the blow of the half time whistle with the score at 26 – 0.

The start of the second half gave no let up for Holywood where Aaron McKinney once again showed his skill and experience with a darting run through the Holywood defence maintaining balance and vision to feed the supporting Curtis Rea who showed his developing skill to not only side step the full back but to beat him in a race to the line. Once again Holywood were put on the back foot by the straight running from the Carrick backs the interplay with the Carrick forwards. The replacement back – Reece Hamilton immediately showed his speed and strength by chasing a well timed box kick from Kenny Topping to force the Holywood defence to give away a 22 drop out. Carrick’s replacement prop Michael Smylie stood dominantly strong against a very experience opposite number earning his respect in the scrums. The second half continued with Carrick continuing to put pressure on Holywood through insisting the game is played in Holywood’s half and keeping them on the back foot. Holywood continued to push for a score by kicking the ball up field but out half Luke Whittle had the vision to return the ball with a kick over his opponents head for Reece Hamilton and Johnny Cullen to chase resulting in the ball being carried over by the Holywood defence. A great opportunity came when once again Kenny Topping placed a box kick down the line for the ever alert Reece Hamilton to chase and tackle the receipting winger into touch. As the night drew rapidly in the final whistle gave a bonus point victory to Carrick with a score of 38 – 0 moving them into 2nd place of their league.

A strong dominant performance by the young Carrick side showing that they have the ability to still contest for league leaders if they maintain their drive and enthusiasm and have the confidence to stick to the game plan. Club Captain Johnny Cullen was pleased with his teams overall performance but knows that next week’s fixture is the real tester of producing a complete team performance against our nearest contenders Coleraine and expects all players to continue to make extra effort to attend training.

Other scores:-

2nd XV​-​lost 47 – 7

4th XV​-​Conceded (lost 10 – 0)

Next Weeks Games

1st XV​-​Coleraine – home

Similar Posts