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Carrick Youth share the honours in Ballynahinch

Posted On: Sunday, September 18, 2011

Carrick RFC youth sides travelled to Ballynahinch for their first away fixture of the season last Saturday. Ballynahinch have long been acknowledged as one of the premier youth sections in Ulster rugby so Carrick were under no illusions as to the task ahead of them.

Under 13s

At U13 level a young Carrick side came up against a side that was both physically bigger and stronger. Carrick struggled in the first half to contain their opponents and too many missed tackles allowed ‘Hinch to score 4 unanswered tries. Carrick were also putting themselves under unnecessary pressure by conceding a large number of penalties.

At half time newly appointed U13s coach Andy Bell asked for players to show some bravery in the second half and to their credit all players responded to the challenge. In the pack Gareth Hartley tackled tirelessly and Kyle Bell made several notable carries with the ball. In the backs new signing Adam White impressed both with in defence and attack. Graeme McCrum playing on the wing also made a number of very timely tackles to stop the opposition from scoring.

The final score was 28-0 to the home side but Carrick finished the game much stronger than the home side and can be pleased with their second half performance. This young side is in the early stages of its development and the coaching staffs are optimistic of significant progress being made over the coming weeks. Players need to continue to attend training on a Wednesday night and then apply what they have learnt unto the pitch on a Saturday.

Man of the match for the U13s was scrum half Adam White.

Carrick U15s Cruise to Crush Hinch.

Ballynahinch U15s 7 Carrickfergus RFC U15s 39

Most teams would be pleased to get a win on the road & even more would be ecstatic about beating Ballynahinch by 7 tries to 1 at their home ground but such is the search for a better performance by this Carrick side that the post match celebrations were a bit muted.

In what was a typical early season game which was punctuated by stoppages, niggling injuries & a raft of rolling substitutions by Carrick it was no surprise that the game lacked pattern. The usual suspects stood up to perform however & a 7 try harvest with one defensive blip was all in all a good day at the office for Carrick boys.

Up front a strong scrum & improved lineout provided a steady stream of first phase ball which unfortunately was not at times used to its full potential, poor choices saw many Carrick players progress full tilt in a blinkered fashion up “mugs alley”. However when Carrick ran at pace & with purpose to search for supporting players the team began to gel, clearing out at rucks was much better & the control of the ball at the maul became a pleasing feature of the game.
Several aspects of the game provided a good clue to mindset with a fantastic defensive effort on the line when Hinch were given the ball three times on the trot for free attacks.

Similarly a passage of offloading & support play down the left touchline involving six Carrick players was top drawer.
Carrick were well able for anything that Hinch threw at them & finished strongly & well in control.

There were several cameo performances by the ever willing Carrick bench players & mention must be made of Rory Magill & Sam McMurtry who both took up the propping duties after injury & unavailability to others. Michael Whitall had a debut try & Matthew Best also on debut at fullback slotted in well.

The Carrick coaches although pleased with the score line know that there is tweaking to be done in relation to decision making ,ball retention & continuity but are assured that this group of players have got what it takes to be competing at the sharp end of the season.

Exciting days ahead & with hard work on the training paddock, performances & results will follow.
Carrick scorers – Jake Porter T2 Matthew Fisher T2 John Stewart T2 Michael Whitall T Sam Wallace Cons2

Honours shared at U17 Level

A very much under strength Carrick under 17’s side travelled to Ballynahinch Sat for a pre league friendly. Although the side had a big powerful pack on duty they were missing four members of their regular backline. The Carrick coaches resorted to playing six players out of position and several reserve forwards playing in the backs for the first time.

The match started with Ballynahinch spreading the ball wide through their classy back line and only for the tremendous efforts of Darren Robinson and Dean Henderson would have resulted in early tries for “hinch”. Carrick then began to take control up front playing ten man rugby creating phase after phase up the tight channels. The Carrick props Ian Smith and Bradley Young making the hard yards were out standing all day and after 15 minutes Smith drove over the Ballynahinch line to open the Carrick account the conversion being missed by Carrick lock Mathew Wilson. Carrick continued to dominate up front threatening the Ballynahinch line several times before the half time whistle.

The second half saw the dynamic of the game change completely with Ballynahinch spreading the ball wide at every opportunity exposing the Carrick weaknesses in the backs. Two unconverted tries quickly followed leaving the Carrick side chasing shadows out wide. The score could have been doubled was it not for the last ditched tackling of the Carrick full back Darren Robinson. The Carrick side regrouped and ironically with only minutes left one off the only regular backs in the side danced his way through the Ballynahinch defence to score a fantastic try. The scorer Callum Wilson displayed great skill to dance inside the Ballynahinch defensive cover before turning on the afterburners to score the try of the match.

The Carrick pack spurred on by the try very nearly won the game for Carrick when the man of the match Bradley Young came close in the dying seconds off the game. A 10 all draw then, but a great result for the Carrick side greatly under strength.

The league opens next week with the two sides again coming head to head only this time at Carrick.


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