Carrick see off Academy and are left playing waiting game

Carrick's Ryan McGonigle spreads the play against Academy. Photo: Presseye
Carrick's Ryan McGonigle spreads the play against Academy. Photo: Presseye

Qualifying 2: Carrick Firsts continued their high-scoring run with a 57-24 win over Academy at Roughfort on Saturday.

In the four games since defeat to Omagh, Carrick have scored over 200 points, including 32 tries. They have conceded just 27.

Their bonus-point win puts them top of the league and, with Omagh losing to Coleraine, back into the title race. However, the County Tyrone side could still deny them the opportunity of a league decider - if they beat UUC and Randalstown and pick up at least one try bonus point.

Carrick opened Saturday’s points-fest with a Luke Whittall penalty before Peter Simpson ran in to score under the posts. Whittall added the conversion.

The home side hit back with a converted try but a mistake allowed Johnny Cullen to pounce on a loose ball and race in from 60 metres for a converted score. The visitors extended their lead through Johnny Sheriff whose try was kicked by Whittall.

Three minutes later Cullen got his second try and Carrick’s bonus point before Chris Rodgers forced his way over with Whittall on target with the kick.

Norman Carson provided the Academy response with an unconverted try before the break.

Another Academy uncoverted score closed the gap but Aaron McKinney hit back with another Carrick try. Carson then sliced through the Carrick defence to score his second try but the visitors took control with scored from Rodgers, Curtis Rea.

Carrick must now play the waiting game to see if they will be faced with a title showdown against Omagh on April 11.