Carrick battle to win over Newton Stewart

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Carrick RFC beat Newton Stewart 25-17 on Saturday to stay top of BT West Division One.

Carrick kicked off into the strong wind and twice in the first nine minutes Carrick forward’s lost the ball which led to penalties at the breakdown. McMillan, the visitor’s centre, converted both to give the Galloway men a six point lead.

The home forwards got their act together and with new boy Christie controlling proceedings Carrick took the lead in the 17th minute. A lineout within Newton Stewart’s twenty two, with the visitor’s defence on the back foot; the ball was moved across the back line for Alan Speirs to score on the left wing. Christie converted. This was repeated two minutes later from the half way line. Quick ball from the lineout was punched up through the central defence, the support produced quick ball, the attack direction was changed and Speirs scored but Christie’s conversation attempt fell short.

There was no further scoring in the half and although much of the game was played in the Rick’s territory they were rarely threatened.

With the elements in their favour, and leading 12-6, the Rick support expected a stress free forty minutes. The visitors had other ideas though.Within two minutes a breakdown penalty was converted by McMillan. Five minutes later an offside penalty was kicked into the corner and from the lineout the home pack was mauled over the line. The visitors suddenly led 14-12. A rare attack saw Lewis Clark restore the Carrick lead. A lineout ball went through the centre and the attack changed direction and Clark ran off to score. Christie added the extras. From kick off Carrick could not gain good possession and were penalised for a breakdown offence. The official yellow carded Ian Speirs. McMillan converted.

One man down and only leading by two Christie had a speculative drop kick at goal. Whether Christie has a direct line to Aeolus, the Wind God, only he knows but a ball going wide took an unexpected curve to slip inside the post which settled the home side down again.

With eighteen minutes left a yellow card was shown to Fiskin the visitor’s hooker. Christie convertedthe penalty and this should have led to a bonus point try. The game finished with a penalty on the five metre line but the Carrick skipper chose not to go for the bonus point but elected for touch to finish the game.

Carrick Rugby seconds won at Clydebank and the Academy had two wins from four with Jordanhill School. The first XV and S1 were the victors. Saturday sees Carrick at home to Lenzie in the BT Shield at 1.30pm.