Top of the table Carrickfergus just about scraped home, winning 20-17 in their away fixture with bottom club Lisburn on Saturday. The result maintains their unbeaten Qualifying 2 record.
Going into injury time, Carrick trailed by 17 points to 13, and looked to be heading for defeat when their first real period of pressure produced the winning try by out-half Sam Wallace.
The Lisburn side could justifiably feel hard done by because they dominated territory and possession for long periods, scored three tries, could well have had another and had a questionable penalty try awarded against them.
After a bright opening few minutes, Carrick allowed their opponents to take control of the game and didn’t appear capable of holding onto the ball for any length of time, nor of forcing Lisburn to play in their own half as they had done so successfully against Donaghadee the previous week.
The Carrick line-out mis-fired and four were lost on their own throw, while the scrum was under pressure for much of the afternoon.
Credit must be given to Lisburn though; they were well-organised, highly-competitive in both set-piece and loose and their talented backs posed some real problems for the Carrick defence.
The home side deservedly took the lead in the 20th minute when their winger went over in the corner. The try was not converted but Lisburn continued to dominate and extended their lead with a soft try after seven minutes later when their blind-side flanker was allowed to pick up at ruck inside the Carrick 22 and virtually walk over unopposed. This one was goaled, putting them 12-0 up.
Carrick managed to get back into the game three minutes later with a Luke Whittall penalty. A couple of minutes later, the visitors were thrown a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty try. Whittall added the conversion points to leave them just two points behind.
Whittall’s early second-half penalty put his side in front, but the lead didn’t last for long as Lisburn hit back with an unconverted score.
Carrick got their act together in the closing minutes and Wallace darted in at the corner before Whittall added an excellent conversion from the touch-line.