RUBY: Unbeaten Carrick cruise to victory over Ballymoney

Carrick and Ballymoney struggle for the ball. INCT 43-232-AM
Carrick and Ballymoney struggle for the ball. INCT 43-232-AM

Carrick 1st 15 continued their unbeaten start to the 2015/16 league campaign with a 23 points to 3 win against Ballymoney at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday.

This win means that Carrick are now in second place and remain the only unbeaten side in Section 2 of the Kukri Qualifying League.

The first score came after 20 minutes when Luke Whittal put over a penalty kick into the wind and then followed up 10 minutes later with a lovely low trajectory kick from 35 metres out to give Carrick a 6 points to nil lead.

Shortly afterwards Ballymoney got what was to be their only score when they converted a penalty from the Carrick 10 metre line.

With two minutes of the half remaining, Carrick made ground up to the Ballymoney 22, the result of a strong carry by Andy McKeen, then moved the ball left quickly to give winger Brian Alexander space on the outside; as he was going for the corner he was brought down by a dangerously high tackle which resulted in a penalty try to Carrick and a yellow card for the Ballymoney tackler.

Luke Whittal put over the conversion and Carrick went into the break with a 13 points to 3 lead.

Ballymoney started the second half in determined fashion and, keeping ball in hand, managed to play most of the first ten minutes of the half in Carrick territory.

However, they could not manage to break down the solid Carrick defence and the home side, beginning to use the boot to gain territory, gradually wrested back control of territory.

Carrick extended their lead with another Luke Whittal penalty at the start of the third quarter and then, with ten minutes remaining, put the result beyond doubt when right winger Peter Simpson went over in the corner after Carrick had sucked in defenders by going through the phases in mid-field.

Luke Whittal put over an excellent conversion from the touch-line.

The home side continued to dominate possession and territory for the remainder of the game but, despite going close, could not add to their total and finished comfortable 23 points to 3 winners.

In the conditions, this was a competent Carrick performance and at no stage did it ever look as though they were in any danger of conceding a try, let alone losing.

They do not have a match next Saturday and then face the other side demoted from Section 1 - Donaghadee - at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday, November 7.

On Saturday, there were also wins for the Carrick 3rd 15, by 50 points to 12 against Ballyclare 3rd 15, and the 4th 15, by 47 points to 17 against Rainey 5th 15.