RUGBY: Carrick climb table with win over Academy

Carrick win this lineout against Academy. INNT 41-577-SO
Carrick win this lineout against Academy. INNT 41-577-SO

Carrick 1st XV continued their fine start to the season with a 32-10 away win against Academy on Saturday.

The bonus-point victory takes them into joint-second place in Qualifying 2 but they have played fewer games than the other teams involved and are now the only unbeaten team in the league.

Carrick got the first score of the game when a poor clearance kick by Academy ended up in the hands of Luke Whittal and the out-half dived over for the touch-down. He missed the conversion from a difficult angle.

The visitors extended their lead after 30 minutes when Keith McNeil got the touch-down following a well-worked line-out catch-and-drive. This time Whittal was successful with his conversion kick.

Academy reduced the deficit when they converted a penalty on the stroke of half-time but Carrick re-asserted their authority 10 minutes into the second session with a Whittal penalty.

Just a couple of minutes later, the out-half showed fine anticipation in intercepting a lobbed Academy pass and racing 50 metres to score behind the posts. He added the conversion points to give Carrick a 22-3 lead.

Two minutes later he put over his second penalty, awarded for an offence at the break-down following another great run off the back of the scrum by Ryan McGonigle.

The home side who scored next when their outside centre gathered a well-weighted kick over the Carrick defence and raced in for a converted score.

As the game moved into injury-time, another carry by McGonigle - this time from a line-out - started a move in which quick transfer gave Aaron McKinney space on the outside and the full-back cut inside the one remaining Academy defender to score and earn Carrick their bonus point. Whittal added the conversion.

Carrick have next week off and then return to action on October 24 against Ballymoney at Tom Simms Memorial Park.

They will no doubt take note that Ballymoney and their opponents in the following game, Donaghadee, were beaten in successive weeks by Academy.

The Carrick team against Academy was: A. McKinney; P. Simpson, R. Bailey, R. Hamilton, B. Alexander; L. Whittal,K. Topping; A. Gibney, G. McKeown, R. Williams (E. Peacock), K. McNeil, C. Rodgers (C. Rea), A. McKeen, R. Marsden (c), R. McGonigle.