Carrick Rugby Club’s 4th XV completed a wonderful 150th Anniversary season for the club when they won the Butler Shield on Saturday with a 17-10 victory over Belfast Harlequins 4ths at Hamilton Park, the home of Ards RFC.
It means that all four senior teams have considerable reason for pride. The 1st and 3rd XVs won their respective leagues and the 2nd XV clinched promotion from Section 2 of the Junior League with a second-place finish.
In addition, the Under-18s reached the final of their Cup competition, unfortunately losing out to Malone on Saturday, while the Under 16s and Under 14s remain in contention in their competitions.
The final of the Butler Shield produced a highly competitive match and Carrick had to withstand a fierce late onslaught from Harlequins as they sought the seven points which would have taken the match into extra-time. However, after the opening 15 minutes Carrick always had the edge, their game directed brilliantly from out-half by Man of the Match Luke Totten who contributed 12 of the 17 points.
There were also fine performances from scrum-half Ed Montgomery and in defence and as ball carriers by Craig Brazier, Billy Donagoney and Chris Taylor.
It was Harlequins who deservedly took the lead in the 15th minute with a Matthew Mullan penalty but from that point on Carrick began to take control.
The sides were level in the 28th minute with Luke Totten kicking a penalty. Totten put Carrick in front just before the interval, adding the conversion points to send his side 10-3 up.
Craig Brazier forced his way over for Carrick’s next score and Totten made no mistake with the conversion to make it 17-3.
Harlequins continued to fight hard and with 10 minutes of normal time remaining got their reward when prop Kevin Crothers caught the Carrick defence napping from a tap penalty and went over unopposed near the posts. The try was converted by Mullan.
In a lengthy period of injury time Harlequins mounted a fierce assault on the Carrick line but the men from Woodlawn held firm.
Carrick: A. Magill; S. Wood (Capt), R. Hawkins, M. McGonigle, J. Simmons; L. Totten, E. Montgomery; C. McArthur, A. Tyther, N. Karczewski, A. Newell, M. Simms, W. Donagoney, I. Penny, C. Brazier. Subs: J. Hagan, A. Moore, C. Taylor.