Under 15’s remain undefeated and top their league
Posted On: Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Carrickfergus RFC U15s 63 v Lurgan RFC U15s 0
At a cold & damp Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday morning Carrick U15s posted eleven tries for their eleventh win from eleven league outings to capture the Ulster Elite League title at U15s level. A clean sweep of the league which saw the team amass a perfect 33 league points from a possible 33 and also a scoring ratio of 480 points for & 38 against.
A gallant under strength Lurgan, victims of the ubiquitous ski trip, felt the full force of a rampant Carrick XV who displayed their many rugby wares to a sizeable appreciative gallery of faithful supporters comprising of family & friends. Straight from the kick-off Carrick showed their intent of moving the ball through numbers of hands & into space creating passages of fluid rugby. Not that this was to be a hanky ball game with huge carries from Corey Kelly John Stewart & John Turner ripping shreds out of the Lurgan defence.
First to benefit was Jake Gardener who shaking off a recent injury ran strongly to score the first try. Sam Wallace then rounded off a series of thrusts by forwards & backs playing offloads before setting the platform for Wallace to show & go for the score. The hard work done by players on the training paddock over recent months was certainly coming into fruition as the backline burst into action with Jake Porter benefiting from a run in score after great lead up work by co-centre Evan Sloan who was growing into the game. Wallace was able to add the points & this score heralded the opening of the floodgates as John Turner charged & crossed followed by a Dylan McDowell footrace score. If that had been the sabre & the rapier in action then it was the turn of sweet feet belonging to Conor Cambridge who danced ,twirled & jinked over for a brace of blindside tries with Wallace converting one.
Half time Carrick 41 v Lurgan 0
The second half saw coaches Dickson ,McTeggart & McCord unleash the dogs of war in the shape of a replacements bench hungry for game time & the changes did not disappoint. Rory Magill, Jordan Devenney & Owen Hunter brought dynamic to the pack whilst Andrew Campbell, Jamie McCracken, Aaron Rea & Jamie Craig formed an entirely new backline. The changes allowed respite for the hardworking James Carson, Daniel McBurney & Cody Surgeoner, whilst Mike Whitall & Matthew Best switched positions with good effect.
The end result was the same with Carrick taking up where they laid off. Lurgan had no answer to Kelly’s interpretation of the legendry Bill McLaren’s description of a charging prop forward “He’s like a raging bull with a bad head” & indeed he was. All this pressure & the relentless running handling & offloading skills of the home team yielded another try for Turner & Porter before Matthew Fisher coming back to the team ran hard for a try involving power pace & a reasonable degree of footwork. Wallace added the bonus points. No performance would be complete without a significant John Stewart contribution & this game was no exception with a strong burst for the line hampered by two Lurgan defenders allowed the hooker to show presence of mind & strength to force the ball down, Wallace was successful with the conversion. A fine performance which drew praise from referee Tim Lowry for the disciplined way in which both teams had conducted themselves & the levels of skill & application on show.
Full time Carrick 63 v Lurgan 0
The players & coaching staff of Michael, Jimmy & Glen would like to extend their appreciation to sponsors NK Fencing for their continuing support. Similarly to Barry McMurtry, David Cambridge & Johnny Carson for their help with training venues, to the many local schools who provide the players & finally to parents & supporters for their unwavering loyalty throughout the league campaign.
Next week Carrick who are now first seeds in the league play offs will have a home match against the runners up in League section 2.
For the diary – league playoffs in February dates TBC, Cup Round Robin in March & the visit of Northumbrian U15s champions Northern FC also in March.
Carrickfergus U15s Squad
M Best M Whitall E Sloan J Porter (capt)D McDowell S Wallace C Cambridge J Carson J Stewart C Kelly J Turner D McBurney C Surgeoner J Gardener M Fisher R Magill J Devenney O Hunter A Campbell J McCracken A Rea J Craig
1st XV beaten by league leaders
Carrick 1st XV suffered their third defeat at the hands of Section 2 leaders University of Ulster, Coleraine (UUC) when they lost the away League encounter by 32 points to 14 on Saturday 4 February. The Maxol-sponsored Carrick side once again put in a decent performance for parts of the game but didn’t take their chances when they came and then conceded tries – at least two of which were down to poor defending- when the opposition got into the “red zone”. For the first half hour, Carrick were pretty much on top and playing the game in UUC territory but, rather like Scotland later in the day, decision-making and handling let them down when they got into good attacking positions. They then conceded two tries late in the first half and were chasing the game from then on against a side which controlled territory and possession for at least the first twenty-five minutes of the second half and which had Carrick under pressure at the scrum and the break-down. On the Carrick side, Kris James had a very good game in attack and took his two tries in some style. Ross Crymble had an excellent defensive game ,putting in some crunching tackles and there was also some good aggressive defence from Daryl Crothers. Glen Picken kicked well to try to keep Carrick playing in the right areas.
Carrick started well and took the lead early on with a well taken Kris James try. James added the conversion points himself. Carrick controlled territory for most of the first half-hour but could not add to their score. A number of opportunities were missed when passes did not go to hand or wrong options were taken. Almost inevitably, the visitors were made to pay when UUC drove over from a line-out on one of their rare visits to the Carrick 22. That try was not converted but UUC took the lead with a penalty after thirty-two minutes and then, on the stroke of half-time, Carrick got into a terrible defensive mess at a 5-metre scrum and failure to control the ball allowed the home side to gather and go over. The try was not converted to leave UUC leading by 13 points to 7 at the break.
Six minutes into the second half, and with Carrick down to fourteen men because of a sin-binning, UUC again forced their way over from a line-out catch and drive but again could not convert the try. Ten slater they more or less put the game beyond Carrick when their excellent No 8 initiated a move which, after going through several phases,ended with a long miss pass giving the UUC winger space to get in at the corner. This try was converted to give the hosts a 25 points to 7 lead. Carrick were prevented from going further behind when UUC looked to have broken clear with turn-over ball from their own 22 but a great covering tackle by Ross Crymble stiffled the move. Then, with fifteen minutes remaining, Carrick briefly gave themselves hope when Kris James split the UUC defence following a tap penalty and went over under the posts. He once again added the conversion points himself. Virtually from the re-start though UUC ran back a loose Carrick kick, the first up tackle was missed and the home side scored under the posts. The conversion gave them a lead of 32 points to 14 which was never really threatened in the final ten minutes of the game.
Next week, Carrick travel to Lisburn to try to complete the League double over them.
The Carrick team against UUC was:
L. Totten; K. James, K. Quinn, R. Hamilton, D. Crothers; A. McKinney, G. Picken; A. Gibney, G. Baxter, D. McKeen(Capt), A. Kincaid, C. Ferris, M. Davidson, R. Crymble, M. Patterson.
5th XV beat Donaghadee 3s by 30 points to nil
Fixtures for Saturday 11 February are:
1st XV vs Lisburn, away
2nd XV vs Clogher Valley II, away
3rd XV vs Clogher Valley III, away
4th XV vs Grosvenor IV, away
5th XV vs Randalstown III, home