Carrick beaten by league leaders Enniskillen
Posted On: Monday, October 24, 2016
The Maxol-sposored Carrick 1st XV lost their away encounter with League leaders Enniskillen by 18 points to 6 on Saturday 22nd October. In a game devoid of tries,the home side – with a strong pack, an out-half with a strong and accurate boot but a back-line which offered little – dominated the first half and led by 15 points to 6 at the break. Carrick put in a better second half performance, dominating territory and probably possession, but could not break down the solid Enniskillen defence. The strong Enniskillen pack had Carrick in trouble in the scrums throughout and made life very difficult for the visitors at the break-down. In this they were aided by some inconsistent refereeing but, certainly in the first half, as the side under pressure, Carrick were always more likely to be on the wrong side of marginal decisions. Despite their dominance in the first half, Enniskillen never looked likely to score a try, partly because their back-line offered little threat and partly because Carrick again defended well. Indeed, in the second half, it was Carrick who looked more likely to get across the try-line. For Carrick, John McDowell, returning to 1st XV action after an absence of a number of years, had a great game, being a thorn in the Enniskillen’s side, at the break-down in particular, until he was substituted late on. Andy McKeen again led from the front, as ball-carrier and defender, while Adam Boyce had a very good game in the centre both in defence and attack.
The visitors started well and took the lead after two minutes when Enniskillen strayed off-side at a ruck in front of the posts and Luke Whittal converted the resulting penalty. However, the home side gradually took control through their strong pack and Carrick for once found themselves being shoved backwards in the scrum. Despite their forward dominance though Enniskillen found it difficult to threaten the Carrick line in any serious way and it was not until the end of the first quarter that they got on level terms with a penalty from the Carrick 10 metre line. Five minutes later they took the lead with an easier kick from straight in front when they won a scrum penalty. With their pack very much on top both in scrum and at ruck and maul,they added three further penalties in the run-up to half-time. Carrick did strike back in injury time though when Luke Whittal put over another penalty kick awarded when Enniskillen infringed after a scrum on their own 22 to make the score 15 points to 6 in favour of the home side at the break.
Carrick started the second half strongly and had a chance when Adam Boyce fly-hacked up towards the Enniskillen line and caught a defender in possession but, for a reason that was not entirely clear, the home side were awarded the penalty at the ruck following the tackle. Carrick were now beginning to enjoy more possession and, thanks partly to some good kicking by half-backs Conor Cambridge and Luke Whittal, to play the game mostly in their opponents’ territory.They had another chance after ten minutes when Luke Whittal intercepted and Jason Wady made ground up to the 22 but the next pass was in turn intercepted by an Enniskillen player. As the half wore on, the visitors had several lengthy periods of possession but could not unlock the solid Enniskillen defence. With ten minutes remaining, a weaving run by Conor Cambridge started a Carrick attack with backs and forwards involved but this ended with an inexplicable penalty to Enniskillen at a tackle when it seemed the decision should have gone the other way as the second Enniskillen tackler did not roll away. The only points of the second half came with three minutes remaining when the Enniskillen out-half converted a penalty after Carrick had been marched back ten metres for dissent. The game finished with Carrick going through a series of phases inside the Enniskillen half but, perhaps predictably on the day, this ended in a penalty to Enniskillen!
The under-strength Carrick side put up a gutsy performance against the League leaders and need not feel down-hearted by their defeat. They certainly did not roll over in the second half after things had looked ominous at half-time following Enniskillen’s first half dominance. With a bit more patience at times they could have scored at least one try, something which the home side never really looked like doing. There is now a break in Championship League action and Carrick then have a run of four home fixtures from mid-November up to Christmas; they will be looking to pick up as many League points as possible to get themselves into a secure position in the table.
The Carrick team which faced Enniskillen was:-
D. Moore; R. Crymble (K. Topping), A. Boyce, J. Wady, P. Simpson; L. Whittal, C. Cambridge; A. Gibney, G. McKeown, J. McIlwaine, C. Rodgers, D. Ferris, R. McGonigle, J. McDowell ( T. Arnold), A. McKeen (Capt).
The 2nds were beaten 40-7 by Dungannon 2s.
The 4th XV defeated Ballymoney 4s 29-0.
The Youth Section travelled up the motorway to play Malone and had a tough Saturday morning with all three teams being beaten –
Under 14s 66-0
Under 16s 26-20
Under 18s 47-0
Next week’s fixtures (Fixtures for Saturday 29th October at 2.30, unless otherwise stated)
1st XV – No match
2nd XV – No match
3rd XV – No match (Donaghadee 2s have withdrawn from league)
4th XV – No match
Youth Section – Free week (TBC)
Mini rugby – Training (h), 9.30am
Subscriptions – Last week!!
Thanks to all who have already their subscription for this year. If you haven’t paid yet, just a reminder that you need to do so by the end of October if you want to avail of the discounted rates (a saving of up to £25). Unpaid membership cards will be deactivated on 1st November.
You can pay online at www.carrickrfc.co.uk/about/membership/