Carrick 1st XV were beaten 11-8 by Omagh in their crucial Qualifying Two encounter at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday (February 21).
In a hard fought-match, Carrick just came up short and now their chances of winning the title have diminshed. They would require a 100 per cent record from here on, and would need Omagh to slip up.
Omagh had Carrick under pressure from the kick-off and it took a strong defensive effort to keep them out.
After 10 minutes, the visitors took the lead through a penalty but could not make any further impression on the solid home rearguard.
Carrick had to wait until the 37th minute for a response when, following a penalty kick to touch 10 metres out from the Omagh line, quick ball to the backs and fast transfer produced a try for Aaron McKinney who ran an excellent line to get the touch-down. Against the wind, Luke Whittall’s conversion attempt fell just short, but Carrick led 5-3.
However, on the stroke of half-time Omagh put over a long-range penalty to take a 6-5 lead into the break.
Twelve minutes after the interval, Whittall put over a penalty to give his side an 8-6 lead.
However, Omagh kept the pressure on and were rewarded when they got over the line for an uncoverted score following a line-out catch-and-drive
With their noses in front, the visitors held on to claim victory.
Carrick now face a trip to Enniskillen who won the corresponding game in November. A second-place finish could still be important if Instonians return to AIL and two teams are promoted from Qualifying Two.