Crunch time for leaders Carrick

Carrick win this lineout against Enniskillen. INCT 12-202-AM
Carrick win this lineout against Enniskillen. INCT 12-202-AM

It’s crunch time at the top of Kukri Qualifying 2 as leaders Carrick travel to second-placed Coleraine this weekend.

It’s a two-horse race for the title and victory for Ross Marsden’s men would see them stretch their two-point advantage even further as the season reaches fever pitch.

Carrick’s have lost just once this term and their never-say-die attitude was epitomised last time out when they edged to a battling 9-8 home victory over Enniskillen.

“This was a Carrick performance full of character against a very strong side and it keeps the destiny of the league title in Carrick hands,” said a club representative.

“We travel to Coleraine for the crunch game although both teams still have to play their postponed away fixtures with Enniskillen. The result at Coleraine will determine whether or not those Enniskillen games become irrelevant!”

It was an important win for Carrick but the Bannsiders are breathing down their necks after their 52-14 bonus-point demolition at Donaghagdee. It was a match in which Coleraine were missing a number of regulars, including Dijon McCorkell, Daniel Ramage, Greg Neely, Brian Hughes, Cameron Fulton and Brian Cochrane due to injuries and unavailability which meant that playing resources were stretched to the limit.

Carrick and Coleraine last met in early December at Tom Simms Memorial Park when it was the hosts who emerged with a 21-6 win, extending their unbeaten league record to seven on the spin. The match was played in awful weather conditions, so it should be a different game at Rugby Avenue this Saturday.

Carrick’s only defeat of the campaign came in the form of a 3-11 home reverse to neighbours Academy in early February, but they have bounced back positively, winning the next four in a row.

However, since that pre-Christmas loss to the league pace-setters, Coleraine have responded with a truly remarkable 10-game winning sequence.