Carrick Rugby continued their good pre-season form with a 31-22 victory over Helensburgh on Saturday.
This was a big boost to the confidence of the Maybole team as their visitors, from the league above, had despatched them in the Shield competition, last season.
Last week’s team was strengthened with holiday returnees Grant Ward, Greg Montgomery and Euan McGregor. Montgomery has returned to his Alma Mater after a spell at Kilmarnock and was joined, in the second half, by another prodigal son who had feasted with the very successful Marr Rugby Club.
The home side were slow to start and were soon 7 points down but by the 25 minute mark Cammie Pollock had barged over for an unconverted try.
The visitors increased their lead when poor blind side defence allowed the Helensburgh scrum half to chip ahead and win the race for the touchdown. Again from way out wide the try was converted.
Conor Wyllie kept the home side in touch when he broke from defence chased his long kick ahead, collecting the fortuitous bounce and scored under the posts for a converted try.
The final Carrick score of the first half, from Russ McCulloch, gave the home side a three point advantage which was immediately neutralised with another enormous penalty conversion to give a half time score of 17 points each.
Territorially the visitors had the better of the first half but Carrick’s finishing was more clinical. In the truncated second half, due to injuries reducing the visitor’s numbers, most of the play was in the Helensburgh half with individual tries coming from Lewis Clark and Montgomery.
The try count in the second half was two to one giving an overall count of five to three in Carrick’s favour.
Coach Brown was happier with this week’s performance and with a few more players still to return from holidays and injury the squad is starting to take shape.
Just as importantly for the club a second fifteen turned out, and not many clubs are achieving that so early in the season, and lost to a very strong Cumnock XV.
Next Saturday both fifteens travel to Ellon.