Carrick’s 1st XV weren’t feeling the love as they lost their Towns’ Cup quarter-final 22-0 at Donaghadee on Valentine’s Day.
Played in perfect conditions for rugby, it was a firecely-contested game and for the first 25 minutes it looked as though Carrick were the Qualifying 1 side rather than the other way round.
However, the visitors couldn’t put points on the board when they had the ascendency and the home team wrested control from them in the last 15 minutes of the first half and never really relinquished it in the second period.
Carrick were, to some degree, authors of their own misfortune, allowing themselves to get drawn into a wrestle with the strong Donaghadee pack, particularly in the second half, and perhaps resorting to the boot rather too often - a tactic which merely handed the ball back to their opponents.
For the most part, the Carrick defence was solid and there was a touch of misfortune about two of the Donaghadee tries, but the pressure they put on Carrick always looked likely to tell in the end.
Carrick started strongly and came close to scoring with an early line-out catch-and-drive but lost control of the ball at the vital stage.
They had another similar chance after 15 minutes when they released to the backs where Johnny Cullen ran an excellent line to set up a series of attacking rucks but the Donaghadee defence was solid and Carick lost control of the ball.
The home side did not mount their first attack until 25 minutes in, but, when they did, it was the begining of their taking control.
The first try arrived three minutes into the seocnd session and with the conversion added they went 7-0 up.
They extended their lead with a penalty before capitalising on a lose Carrick pass, with the ‘Dee scrum-half interecepting and running in unopposed under the posts for a converted score.
They added to their total when they won the race to touch down a grubber kick through the Carrick defence.
Carrick: J. Wady; N.Hastings (C. Cambridge), J. Cullen (c), J. Sheriff, P. Simpson; A. McKinney, K. Topping; A. Gibney, N. Hanna, M. Smiley (M. Davidson), A. Kinkaid, C. Rodgers, R. Williams, R. Marsden, C. Rea.