CARRICK Academy’s young rugby players have made history by reaching the final of the prestigious Brewin Dolphin Under 18 Plate after a tremendous 17-10 win away to Linlithgow.
The game started well for Carrick when Blair Cooper scored in the corner after three minutes to give them a 5-0 lead.
However, Linlithgow with their much bigger pack, started to gain the upper hand and, from a series of rucks, scored under the posts. Their stand-off converted to give Linlithgow a 7-5 lead.
And with seven minutes left of the half, Carrick were penalised for handling in the ruck and the kick was again successful to give Linlithgow a 10-5 lead.
The boys in blue then upped the pace of the game and this was when Carrick seemed to be at their most dangerous.
And after a quickly-taken line-out, captain marvel Blair Jardine broke through the Linlithgow midfield to score a fantastic try. Connor Wyllie converted the kick to give Carrick a 12-10 lead at the interval.
The words at half-time were that, while the boys couldn’t be faulted for their effort, they had to be more clinical when making several line breaks. The second half was a tense affair with the big Carrick support playing their part in getting behind the team.
Carrick created the better chances throughout the half, but some poor decision-making and fantastic defence kept them out until nine minutes to go when, after the play was swung to the right, they won quick ball and passed it back in the opposite direction.
John Dewar delayed his pass perfectly to give Cooper a run to the corner and, with two defenders on his back, he touched down to score which led to wild scenes of celebration from everybody on the touchline.
Carrick then controlled the final eight minutes of the game and when the referee blew for full time, the celebrations started all over again.
Nobody can understate what these boys have achieved.
This is the first time in the history of Carrick Academy that a boys side have reached a Scottish sporting final and this competition had schools such as Glenalmond, Marr, St Columba’s, Lomond, Kelvinside Aacdem,y Aberdeen Grammar and all the big Borders schools in it.
Coach Mr Brown told them they have made history and nobody can take that away from them.
Now for the final, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, with a kick-off time still to be confirmed, but it has been pencilled in for around 7.30pm.
Carrick’s opponents will be Earlston High School or Madras College. Mr Brown has already been inundated with people wishing to go and he has provisionally booked four buses.
Plans have already been put in place for flags, hats and scarves to be produced and he is sure it will be a night to remember, not just for the boys and rugby section but for Carrick Academy and the local community.
Scorers: Blair Jardine – try; Blair Cooper - 2 Tries; Connor Wyllie - 1 Con