The Maxol sponsored 1st XV took to the field on Saturday against Dromore in the most important league game of the season, with both teams trying avoid a late season play off game. The conditions would have better suited an Americas Cup Yacht Race rather than a rugby match. Carrick started on the front foot and made some early incursions into the Dromore 22 only to leave empty handed. In the early stages of the game both teams did a lot of kicking out of hand and during this period the Carrick full back Fionn McCormick put in some excellent relieving kicks.
Carrick eventually made some good ground and found themselves camped on the Dromore 5 metre line, however Dromore defended excellently and prevented Carrick capitalising on their possession and territory After a sustained period of pressure the visitors unfortunately knocked on to allow Dromore to clear their lines. The relief was relatively short lived as Carrick were soon back in the Dromore 22 and this time Luke Whittal took full advantage and slot a well deserved penalty through the uprights. Both teams deserve great credit for their defence in the remaining minutes of the half which ended with Carrick in front 0-3.
The second half started much like the first with Carrick having possession in the Dromore 22. Carrick attacked the line but again Dromore defended well. Carrick were awarded a 5 meter scrum and this time they didn’t fluff their lines with scrum half Kenny Topping diving over for the score which was excellently converted by Luke Whittal. With a clear advantage on the scoreboard Fionn McCormick continued to challenge the opposition, making two excellent line breaks. Dromore had a rare visit to the Carrick 22 and were awarded a penalty which bisected the posts to bring them back within a converted try and 3-10. In the final stages both teams saw scoring chances go begging. Carrick knocked on from deep inside the Dromore 22 and a short while later Dromore were thwarted in the corner by an excellent tackle from Adam Boyce and the ball was forced into touch followed by the final whistle. Carrick were full value for their win and special mention must go to Fionn MCCormick in his man of the match performance. Next week sees Carrick playing Ards in another extremely important league fixture.
The 2nd XV hosted Rainey 2s and won 27-10.
The 3rd XV travelled to Limavady and lost 31-7.
On Wednesday night the Under 16s played Malone on a ‘top of the table’ clash and came away very worthy winners by 15pts to 5. They were in action again on Saturday morning against Armagh. As a result of injuries, missing players and their hectic schedule, the match, which they would certainly have expected to win, ended in a 0-0 draw. They will be hoping that this result doesn’t derail their title challenge.
The U14s lost their Armagh fixture 57-5 while the Under 18s were unable to field a team and therefore conceded their match. A Saturday to forget for the youth section.
Next week’s fixtures (Fixtures for Saturday 18th February at 2.30, unless otherwise stated)
1st XV v Ards (h)
2nd XV v Larne 2s (a); Crawford Plate
3rd XV v Bangor 3s (h) Forster Plate
4th XV – No match
Ladies v Randalstown (a), Sunday @ 1pm
Youth Section –
Under 16s v Newry on Wednesday night (TBC)
Mini rugby – Training (h), 9.30am
Invitation to pre-match lunch
There will be a pre-match lunch on Saturday at 1.00pm before the 1st XV v Ards fixture. The lunch is open to everyone at a cost of £12.50 per head with wine or just £10 without wine. If you want to attend please contact Craig Addley on (07710) 550711 as soon as possible, and not later than Thursday.
We would like to thank Norman Kerr and Kerr’s Tyres who are generously sponsoring this Saturday’s game. We would encourage as many members as possible to attend the pre-match and to support the team in a game where victory would keep us comfortably mid-table and hopefully secure a second year in Ulster Championship Division 1.
The following Saturday (25th February) the 1st XV have a home draw against Ballynahinch 2s in the quarter-final of the River Rock Towns Cup. We would expect the pre-match lunch for this fixture, sponsored by Abbey Bond Lovis, to be very popular. Please contact Craig early to book your place and avoid disappointment.