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1st XV lose out to Bangor in Towns Cup

Posted On: Monday, January 9, 2012

The Maxol-sponsored Carrick 1st XV lost their first round Towns Cup encounter with Bangor by 24 points to 3 at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday 7 January. Although an improvement on the heavy away League defeat against Bangor earlier in the season, the manner of the Carrick defeat was disapponting. A number of defensive lapses, particularly in the first half, gifted the visitors tries and then, when playing with the fairly strong breeze in the second half, Carrick were unable to take advantage and keep Bangor pinned in their own half. There were, however, some fine individual performances from Carrick players. Ross Marsden tackled his heart out until he had to leave the field injured and put in a number of big hits on the strong Bangor ball carriers. His brother Neal was also prominent in defence as was second row Andy Kincaid. Mark Patterson at No 8 was a willing ball carrier and Kris James improved the Carrick attacking efforts when he came on as a substitute for the final quarter.

The game began in dry but breezy conitions and on a pitch which was extemely wet from rain earlier in the week.Bangor had the advatage of playing with the wind in the first half and made fairly good use of it to play most of the half in Carrick territory. In truth though they didn’t take full advantage because ,in addition to the three tries they scored, they butchered at least two other scoring opportunities. The visitors, after putting Carrick under pressure early on, took the lead after ten minutes when their full-back went over in the corner after the home side’s defence had been breached in mid-field. This try was not converted but ten minutes later the Bangor left winger ran through some terrible Carrick defence to score in the other corner. Again, the try was not converted. After twenty-five minutes, Carrick got their only points when Luke Whittal put over a penalty from a difficult angle and into the wind. Three minutes later, Bangor got their third try, again courtesy of poor Carrick tackling, when they broke the defensive line, chipped ahead and won the race to the touch-down. The visitors had several more chances to score in the run up to half-time but were unable to finish them off. Thus, Bangor went into the break leading by 17 points to 3.

The second half began with Bangor missing out on another opportunity when they knocked on after Carrick had failed to deal with a grubber kick towards their line. In the third quarter, Carrick did begin to play some of the game in their opponents’ territory but couldn’t stay there for long enough to put Bangor under pressure nor threaten the line while they were there. After seventeen minutes of the half, Bangor killed off any lingering hopes Carrick might have entertained when, from a scrum, they rounded the Carrick defence in a classic three-quarter move to score in the corner. The try was converted. With Kris James kicking for position, Carrick did offer some attacking threat in the final quarter but were unable to break down the Bangor defence and the game finished with the score unchanged at 24 points to 3.
On Saturday 14 January, Carrick face Bangor again in the home League fixture at Tom Simms Memorial Park.

This week’s fixtures
1st XV vs Bangor, home
2nd XV vs Cooke II, home (Thursday night, kick off at 7.30pm)
3rd XV vs Academy II, home
4th XV vs Ards IV, away
5th XV vs Bangor III, home
Under 19s vs Ballyclare, away

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