Carrick bounce back against Helensburgh

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In an Alan Caldwell sponsored match Carrick entertained Helensburgh on Saturday. Before kick off, both teams observed a minute’s silence for Club member Neville Clark.

December is a time for giving and in the first 15 minutes both sides gifted each other scores.

Firstly Helensburgh had an open door in midfield which was exploited three times in the first ten minutes. Gary Thomson’s midfield charge from kick off was halted just short of the line. Referee Gilchrist only awarded a penalty which Christie converted. Five minutes later Thomson scored an unconverted try.

The home side were dominant and completed their early scoring when “Roy” Smith scored near the post. Christie converted to give Carrick a 15 point lead.

The home side then returned Helensburgh’s wishes with two gifts of their own. Firstly, from a speculative chip from Sterry the Carrick defence debated who should catch the ball which allowed Sterry to hack on and Bowman won the foot race to score in the corner. Sterry converted. Then the visitors took Carrick’s pack for a walk from a lineout ball which was released to Sterry who kicked to the opposite wing for Bowman to score.

Slowly the home pack began to control the game and for the last 15 minutes the Carrick game, so well displayed earlier in the season emerged from its winter hibernation.

It began with a pushover score from the pack converted by Christie which brought an onslaught of four tries. Thomson scored the first one but the backs needed help from hooker Young to score the last. The middle two tries came from lineouts. The first try was scored from a catch and drive followed by a cross field pass to let speedster McCulloch touch down.

The second try came from a quick lineout, and Speirs was on hand to complete the move. Christie converted three of the four tries giving Carrick a 46 – 12 half time lead.

The second half performance from Carrick did not quite match the first half. McCulloch ran along his wing to score but Helensburgh replied with two tries, the second from an interception from Simmons. Both were converted by Sterry.

From kick off Carrick attacked deep into the Helensburgh 22 and from quick ruck ball veteran Christie produced a surprise burst of speed to go through the Helensburgh defence. It had been a long afternoon for the visitors and moving into the last quarter it looked as if it would get even longer but their defence held out only to be breached by two late tries from Clark and Birnie bringing the final score to 70 – 26. The next league game is at home to Allan Glens on January 10 but Coach Brown has organised a friendly at Cumnock on January 3.