Carrick 1st XV beat Randalstown 13-3 in a hard-fought away game on Saturday.
With rivals Coleraine also winning at Lisburn but failing to securing a bonus point, the win keeps Carrick three points clear at the top of Qualifying 2.
Carrick scored first thanks to a 12th-minute Luke Whitall penalty. The home side missed with a long-range penalty effort on the 20-minute mark.
Carrick extended their lead when Chris Rodgers fed his second row partner Andy Kinkaid who charged over to score with Whitall addeing the extras to make it 10-0.
It was the home side who had the attacking opportunites in the second session but excellent Carrick defence prevented them from taking advantage.
With five minutes of normal time remaining, and presumably mindful of a losing bonus point, Randalstown opted for a kick at goal after being awarded a penalty straight in front of the posts. This was duly converted to reduce the deficit to seven points.
However, Carrick were not quite finished and another penalty from outhalf Whitallcapped a fine all round display.
next up: Enniskillen (h), March 19.