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Carrick Youth Impress in Pre season Friendlies.

Posted On: Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday saw Carrickfergus RFC Youth continue 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 playing at the newly renamed Tom Simms Memorial Park in  memory of the late Tom Simms who passes away last year

At U13s level Ballyclare could only field 10 players for the early season fixture which meant that Carrick reshuffled their plans and picked two squads of 12 players for the game. Both set of coaches agreed to play four 10 minute sessions of rugby and from the outset the young Carrick side dominated the proceedings. Debutants Dalton, Woodside and Heyburn who are new to youth rugby at the club quickly showed their potential being focal to all that the Carrick side did.

In the first quarter Carrick scored 4 unanswered tries with Matthew Dalton getting two of the scores. To their credit Ballyclare started the second period very positively and were rewarded with a fine individual score from their pacey winger. This however did not stop the young Carrick side from scoring an additional 4 tries of their own.

The 3rd and 4th quarters continued to see Carrick dominate the game with Gareth Hartly and Kyle Bell both impressing with aggressive running in open play. Debutant scrum half Nathan Forsythe was also now being demonstrating his potential with a number of foraging runs into opposition territory. Seasoned campaigner Matty Carson playing at out half also impressed, chipping in with four tries of his own.

This was a useful workout for the young Carrick side but much more difficult fixtures await them in the weeks ahead. Coaches Kidd, Higgins and Bell although happy with the performance will expect the players to produce more as the season unfolds.


Carrick U15s Open At A Canter

A bright sunny morning at The Tom Simms Memorial Ground saw a rampant Carrick U15s overcome local friendly rivals Ballyclare in an early season warm-up match.

Ballyclare were only able to field thirteen players, a problem for them which also proved problematic for Carrickfergus who had a squad of thirty players that their coaches & management wanted to gain pre league game time.

By agreement the match was played in sessions thus giving opportunity to ring the changes & make sure that all players got a meaningful run.

Carrick dominated from early on in the first session & after the usual settling in period began to rack up the scores, Connor Cambridge who sometimes allows others to reflect in the glory of his controlling influence came out with all guns blazing to snatch a brace of tries & set the session alight.

Jake Porter reacted to this in typical fashion with another brace of tries before John Stewart carried in typically strong fashion to get his first try of the season.

New to the squad this season & straight on from the start Jordan Devenney showed what a prospect he is with a powerfully evasive run that took him over in the corner.

Sam Wallace tacked on a couple of conversions & the session ended 34-0 for the home side.

The second session saw Carrick ring the changes with the coaches introducing not only a completely new team but a majority of players experiencing rugby at this level.

Ballyclare had their best patch of the morning & with some of the Carrick players trying to adjust to the power & the pace of the game Clare raced in to a well deserved two try lead. More changes were made by Carrick during the game which was now swung Carricks way by a comeback inspiring try from Dylan McDowell. With the home side finishing strongly McDowell crossed again but the final winning score eluded Carrick & Ballyclare rightly claimed the session by 12 -10


Once again Carrick introduced a new line-up for the final session with rolling subs being the order of the day, to score in this session was a bit of a poison chalice with the coaches replacing Carrick scorers from a bench groaning with the weight of numbers.

“Twin” Berry & “Magic” Christian weighed in with two tries apiece early on & the contest was as good as over. Jake Porter added another before the cheer of the day went up for John Turners 30 metre gallop up the left touchline for a fine try. Stewart Rodgers chipped over two conversions & goal kicking prop Sam McMurtry added a further two points. Final score in Carricks favour 36-0

Although never really tested by a gallant Ballyclare team this was a good exercise for the Carrick XV who now have more knowledge about players and their requirements for the coming league & cup campaign.

It was good to be able to blood a huge number of players at this level & add to the coaches ever burgeoning headaches about selection .Equally pleasing was the enthusiasm of all involved and the sight of Evan Sloan & Ian Kerr on the touchline, hopefully they will be shortly restored to full fitness & staking a claim for inclusion in the starting XV.




At U17s level Carrick completed a clean sweep against Ballyclare with a 17-0 victory. The score suggest this was a tight affair but in reality Carrick dominated all facets of the game. Up front the massive Carrick pack put on a powerful performance and only a lack of finishing by the Carrick backs prevented a much more comprehensive score line. The Carrick coaches although happy with the result will demand much more clinical finishing from their back division as the season gets going. Man of the match for the U17s was second row Ian Smith whose physicality was evident throughout the match.

Carrick Youth train on a Wednesday night (7.00-8.30pm) at the Tom Simms Memorial Park, Woodburn Rd, Carrickfergus.  We are currently recruiting new players at U13, U15 and U17 level. For more information go to the club website or contact Youth Co-ordinator Mark Kidd at the club.


Team Opponent Result H/A
Under 17 Ballyclare 17-0 H
Under 15 Ballyclare 80-12 H
Under 13 Ballyclare 82-12 H

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