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Weekend Round-Up (19 November 2011)

Posted On: Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas came early for University of Ulster, Coleraine(UUC) when Carrick 1st XV presented them with two gift-wrapped tries, and the match, at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday 19 November. Although nothing like the team which had dominated Carrick in the Junior Cup earlier in the season, UUC won by 12 points to nil without having to do a lot in attack to earn it. Both of their tries came from Carrick mistakes and, while their defence was well organised, the home side spurned at least three clear try-scoring opportunities. The Carrick pack was on top for much of the match, with John McDowell, Glen Baxter and David McKeen especially prominent as ball carriers and in the loose generally. Carrick completely dominated territory and possession in the first half, with the students making only two brief visits to the their 22, and it is almost unbelievable that UUC led by 5 points to nil at the break. While the visitors began to control territory a bit more in the second half, Carrick came back strongly in the final quarter but, instead of taking the try which would probably have given them the game, they turned the ball over and donated the winning try to UUC!

Carrick started the game by forcing UUC to carry over and concede a 5 metre scrum but were unable to profit from it. Although they enjoyed virtually all of the possession in the first ten minutes, it was UUC who scored when they ran back a loose Carrick kick and took advantage of a dis-organised defence to run in from half-way to touch down. The try was not converted. Carrick continued to dominate field position and possession but could not turn it into points. A clean break in mid-field came to nothing when the ball was kicked ahead when there was no need to and, shortly afterwards, a Carrick player knocked on with the line at his mercy. There were other chances, including an opportunity from ball turned over at a scrum but nothing Carrick tried seemed to come off.

The visitors began to exercise a bit more control of territory in the second half but rarely looked like creating a scoring opportunity. Indeed, the error count on both sides was high. In the final quarter, Carrick once again got a foothold in their opponents half and, after an Andy McIlroy penalty attempt had come back off the post, they had UUC virtually on their knees with wave after wave of attacks. However, a forced pass resulted in a turn-over and UUC ran the length of the field to score. This try was converted and 12 points to nil remained the score until the final whistle.

There were pleasing aspects to the Carrick display, most notably the performance of the pack, but they have got to start taking more of their chances. Had they done so, in their previous League game they could have beaten Omagh and in this game they would certainly have accounted for UUC.

The Carrick team was:
A. McIlroy; R. Crymble, J. Wady, D. Kirkpatrick, K. Quinn; A. McKinney, M. Patterson; A. Gibney, G. Baxter, D. McKeen(Capt), C. Ferris, A. Kincaid, R. Higgins, J. McDowell, C. Rea.

Other results
On a more positive note, the Carrick 5th XV won a high-scoring home game against Academy by 36 points to 31.

Next week’s fixtures
1st XV – Enniskillen (a)
2nd XV – No game
3rd XV – No game
4th XV – Harlequins 4 (h)
5th XV – No game
Under 19 XV – Ballymoney (a)

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