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1st XV defeat Letterkenny in wintry conditions

Posted On: Monday, December 5, 2011

The Maxol-sponsored Carrick 1st XV achieved their first League win since the end of September when they beat Letterkenny by 13 points to nil at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday 3 December. The game was played in windy and bitterly cold conditions and both sides found handling difficult. Carrick were very much on top in the scrum, pushing their opponents off the ball on a number of occasions, and controlled their own line-out ball well. While neither side had a clear advantage at the breakdown, the Carrick back row of Ross and Neal Marsden and Mark Patterson did well in defensive situations, engineeering a number of crucial turn-overs and preventing quick release when the visitors had try-scoring opportunities.

The visitors started strongly but it was Carrick who took the lead with a penalty by Andy McIlroy after twelve minutes. With the strong breeze helping them in the first half, Carrick controlled territory for most of the time but their recent tendency to spurn try-scoring opportunities by taking the wrong option ,or forcing a pass when patience would have paid dividends, was once again evident. A great break by Aaron McKinney came to nothing when the final pass did not go to hand and another move which began with Andy McIlroy going through a gap foundered when the Carrick ball-carrier could not get his pass to the support inside. Despite a yellow card, Carrick did extend their lead with another Andy McIlroy penalty after thirty-five minutes. With play held up for a serious injury to a Letterkenny player, thev referee blew up early for half-time with Carrick just 6 points to nil in front.

The visitors had to play the second half with fourteen men but remained competitive until the end. The home side got the only try of the game ten minutes into the second half when they shoved Letterkenny off their own ball at a scrum ten metres out and Karl Quinn broke through the defence in mid-field and forced his way over. Andy McIlroy added the points. The rest of the game was played mostly in the Carrick half, with the wind now helping the visitors. Apart from one period when they had a series of scrums close to the Carrick line, Letterkenny were unable to create very much and were fairly easily contained by the Carrick defence. Carrick did have at least one further try-scoring chance but turned the ball over at a crucial moment and Letterkenny were able to clear. The game finished with Carrick deserving winners by 13 points to nil.
Next week Carrick make the short journey to Larne where, as with Letterkenny, they will be hoping for another home and away double.

The Carrick team was:
A. McIlroy; D. Flower, K. Quinn, J. Wady, K. James; A. McKinney, M. Patterson; A. Gibney, G. Baxter, D. McKeen(Capt), A. Kincaid, C. Rea, N. Marsden, R. Marsden, M. Patterson.

Fixtures for Saturday 10 December are:
1st XV vs Larne, away
2nd XV vs Coleraine II, home

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