Carrick Youth take the spoils at Lurgan
Posted On: Sunday, October 16, 2011
Date: 15 October 2011
Under 17 v Lurgan 7- 12 (A)
Under 15 v Lurgan 7-39 (A)
Under 13 v Lurgan 58-0 (A)
Carrick U15s met Lurgan U15s for the first time in the Ulster elite league and came away with a handsome 39 – 7 victory despite a number of variables conspiring against them. With transport arriving late, a snatched rather that structured warm up & an impatient referee Carrick’s preparation was not of the best. Added to that was the fact that rain had meant no session on Wednesday night at Tom Simms Memorial Park.
Carrick started with a bang posting two quick tries from Sam Wallace & Dylan McDowell & then proceeded to play as if a dream sequence where everything was in slow motion, languid & “love and peace man”.
Missing for periods was the ferocious ball carrying, the slick execution of backs moves at high pace & the 100% commitment usually shown by this group. There are always reasons and one of them was that the contact zone being allowed to descend to the Bryce Lawrence School of anarchy. It became a dogfight wrapped up in a lottery but there were no winners as the game slid from slow to walking pace to dead stop.
Carrick however to their credit tried to break out of this malaise & swept up field on two occasions freeing up the ball & maintaining continuity for a further two tries from Jamie Craig & Corrie Kelly blasting over from close range, cancelling out Lurgans solitary & ultimately consolation short range effort. Stern words from coaches Dickson & McTeggart at halftime exhorted their charges to more physicality & continuity for the second half & a promise that replacements would be given an opportunity to show their wares.
A rejuvenated Carrick team took the initiative in the second half & played out a half of increased possession & territorial supremacy. More pace more commitment & more skill was shown with first of all Jake porter scoring & then replacements Aaron Rea & Jordan Devenney getting touchdowns. Owen Hunter making his competitive debut showed promise & a high work rate. Rory Magill in a cameo performance took a ball against the head at scrum time, put in a thundering tackle & provided a well timed link pass to the backs all in the space of 2 minutes.
There were many pleasing facets of this game & none more so that the steady stream of set piece ball from scrum & lineout where the front row, second & back rows worked superbly in their units & sub units. A fantastically high degree of handling skill was shown as usual from the backs with the ball hitting the wings & some superb support running on the inside channels.
After lasts week’s battle royal against Malone, Carrick under 17’s travelled to their second league match away to Lurgan. This fixture last year saw the Carrick side go down to their heaviest defeat of the season so it was with some trepidation the side ran out onto the Lurgan paddock. The Carrick team had been plagued with injuries in the last few weeks so to be able to field a full strength side was a real boost for the coaches. The match exploded into life from the first whistle with Lurgan totally controlling the initial stages, worryingly bullying the Carrick pack in all facets of the game. Carrick did not show any of the control and structure they had shown in the previous few weeks and were beaten to the 50 /50 balls on the ground.
It wasn’t long before the pressure told on the Carrick side with the Lurgan backs breaking on the blind side to break through some less than convincing Carrick tackles to open their score. A well deserved try from the Lurgan wing which was promptly converted to give the home side a 7-0 lead. The rest of the first half saw Lurgan continue to dominate the play apart from a great break from the Carrick no 8 Iain McMenamin only stopped by a last ditched tackle from the Lurgan fullback. Lurgan repeatedly attacked using their massive centre partnering causing alarm bells to ring with every attack. Full credit for keeping the score to 7 at half time must go to the tremendous tackling of the Carrick centres Darren Robinson and Callum Wilson who repeatedly crashed into their much larger Lurgan opposite numbers.
The Carrick coaches had some very harsh words for their team at the interval and demanded a much greater effort in the second half. They were not to be disappointed as the Carrick side came out firing on all cylinders and from the whistle Capt John Magill and prop Bradley Young broke from loose play to break the Lurgan covering defence with some brilliant inter passing to take Carrick deep into the Lurgan 22 before being stopped. This led to a Carrick scrum from which Carrick lock Mathew Wilson crashed over the Lurgan line for what appeared to everyone on the pitch bar the referee to be a clear try, however Mathew was to be denied for the second week in a row by a mysterious decision.
The Carrick confidence and self belief had returned and for the next 10 minutes the pack moved into a higher gear challenging every contact and every set piece. Carrick drove the Lurgan pack of their own scrums and disrupted their line outs with sterling work from Mathew Wilson and Dean Henderson. Fifteen minutes into the second half saw Carrick get the break through they deserved when their pack drove up the fringes before the ball was released out the backs giving Darren Robinson in the centre a chance to show his speed and go over for Carrick’s opener. Mathew Wilson stepped up and converted to make the score 7-7. The game became a scrappy affair with both sides making simple handling errors going into the last five minutes. The Carrick side dug deep and from a kick-able penalty in the Lurgan 22 they opted to run the ball .After being stopped on the Lurgan line Carrick spread the ball wide through the hands giving centre Callum Wilson just the room he needed to score a slick try out wide. A great try from a clinical finisher.
Final score Carrick 12 Lurgan 7. A great result for the under 17’s who are emerging as a very entertaining side to watch. Man of the match award goes to Callum Wilson for his stalwart efforts in defence and his devastating finishing.
In the other fixture of the day a young Carrick U13s side lost heavily to current Ulster U13s champions Lurgan. Carrick battled bravely to stem wave after wave of attacking play from the much bigger and physically stronger mid Ulster side. Lurgan to there credit played a superb game of supportive rugby and fully deserved their impressive victory. This match provided the Carrick side with in insight of the development required for them to compete at the very highest level. The encouraging thing is that Carrick continued to battle for the entire game and are hungry to work hard in training to improve before next weeks home fixture against Ballymoney.