Carrick Rugby Club got their competitive season off to an excellent start with a 64-7 win over Banbridge II in the Conference League at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday.
In truth, the young Banbridge side provided only token opposition once the home side got their act together after the first quarter.
From then on it was a procession of Carrick tries and it would have been more than 10 had the referee not blown up with over 10 minutes remaining.
Although Carrick were on top in terms of territory and possession, the first score didn’t come until the 25th minute, when Luke Whittal scored under the posts.
Andy Kinkaid was next to score, followed two minutes later when Banbridge failed to deal with a loose ball and Ross Marsden gathered and ran in from half-way.
It was not long before Carrick added another, when Keith McNeil forced his way over following a line-out steal by Mark Gordon and then a strong run by Gareth McKeown.
Then, with just a couple of minutes to go to half-time, Carrick were guilty of arguably their only serious defensive lapse of the game when the visitors’ scrum-half was allowed to force his way over under the posts following a ruck on the home sides 22. The try was converted to narrow the gap but Carrick widened it again before the interval when Aaron McKinney went over in the corner.
The second half continued as the first had ended, with Carrick completely on top, and with just a couple of minutes gone they had scored their sixth try when Whittal forced his way over before converting his own try. He then added another touch-down a few minutes.
Andy Kinkaid soon got his second and Whittal then grabbed his fourth of the day.
The final Carrick try came from Ryan Bailey, and with 12 minutes remaining, the referee decided he had seen enough had blew the whistle for full-time.
This weekend there is more Conference League action when Carrick travel to The Dub to take on Queen’s II.
Carrick: A. McKinney; C. Cambridge, R. Bailey, R. Hamilton, B. Alexander; L. Whittal, K. Topping; E. Peacock, G. McKeown, A, Gibney, A. Kinkaid, K. McNeil, M. Gordon, R. Marsden (c), R. McGonigle.