Sheriff fires Carrick to victory
Carrick 1st XV beat the elements to defeat Randalstown 11-5 on Saturday. In a match played in very cold conditions and on a heavy pitch, Carrick made hard work of overcoming their game opponents.
Despite being in almost complete control of the game in the second-half, the visitors had only two penalties to show for their efforts. Thankfully for Carrick, the game was played almost entirely in Randalstown territory and the home side had very few opportunities to add to their first half score.
Carrick’s second-half problems stemmed from a combination of lack of patience when in possession, turning over the ball too often, and a tendency to give away silly penalties. Andy Kincaid was excellent with ball in hand, as was Glen Baxter and Mark Patterson. Johnny Sheriff, John Anderson and Aaron McKinney kicked very well out of hand, particularly in the second half, to ensure that Carrick kept Randalstown penned in.
In the early stages, Randalstown had the better of possession and territory and Carrick found it difficult to get their hands on the ball at all. The home side deservedly took the lead after eight minutes with a well-worked try. From a disintegrating scrum on the Carrick 22, their number eight did well to pick up and feed his scrum-half who made ground up to the goal-line; quickly re-cycled ball then allowed the Randalstown right-winger to get in at the corner for an unconverted try.
With 20 minutes gone, Carrick managed their first spell of decent possession and this led to the equalising score. They went through four or five phases, with strong carries by Aaron McKinney, Baxter and, especially, Kincaid, who made 20 metres deep into the Ranalstown 22. Finally, the ball was moved quickly along the backs and McKinney ran in for an unconverted score.
In the closing stages of the first half, both sides had chances to take the lead, Randalstown hitting the post with a long range penalty effort and Carrick missing an easier chance when another strong run by Kincaid led to a penalty in the Randalstown 22. The score remained at 5-5 at the break.
Some great line-kicking by McKinney, Anderson and Sheriff ensured the home side had a lot of defensive line-outs inside their own 22 in the second session, while the Carrick scrum continued to give the Randalstown eight a torrid time.
The visitors took the lead seven minutes in when Sheriff put over a penalty following a sustained attack. Despite their dominance, the visitors did not extend their lead until the 31st minute of the half when Sheriff slotted over another penalty which secured victory.
After two narrow defeats on the spin, Carrick will be pleased to have avenged their league defeat at the hands of Randalstown at Tom Simms Memorial Park back in September. The way in which they dominated the game in the scond half was also pleasing, but they will need to work on their capacity to take advantage of periods of dominance to score tries.
This weekend Carrick are at home to Limavady and will be aiming to complete the double over the County Londonderry side.
Carrick: A. McKinney (c); A. McIlroy, J. Anderson, A. Moore, K. Love; J. Sheriff, K. Topping; E. Peacock, G. Baxter, R. Williams, A. Kincaid, C. Rodgers, C. Rea. R. Marsden, M. Patterson.
Fixtures (January 26): 1st XV vs Limavady, home; 3rd XV vs Banbridge IV, away.
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Weather for Carrick
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: South west