Carrick RFC beat Kilmarnock 34-3 on Saturday to stay top of BT West Division One but it came at a cost with Kyle Johnson ruled out for three months.
Johnson was injured after catching his foot in the turf after being tackled near the try line with ten minutes to go in what is a blow to Carrick’s promotion hopes.
The day started well for Carrick as three Academy teams out of five won over Marr College. Special mention goes to the Under U16’s who reached the West Region final and also to the 1stXV who beat Marr for the first time at that level thanks to a last minute Iain McKnight penalty.
Kilmarnock did not start as the bottom team playing the top team pressurising Carrick and it took strong defence to keep them at bay. The pressure eventurally told when the Carrick backs were adjudgedoffside. McWhirter converted to give the home side a flying start.
The visitors hit back immediately. The home side won a scrummage ball on their own ten metre line but failed to control the ball, Smith tidied up for Carrick, the ball was transferred to Clark who stepped outside his opposite number ,Young, and scampered the forty metres to score an unconverted try.
Carrick’s forward power was beginning to take control and Johnson increased their lead to 10-3 when Kilmarnock was penalised for not releasing the tackled player.
Carrick added two more scores before half time, one from an Alan Speirs intrusion down the blind side of the scrummage and the second from a Johnson solo break from a quick lineout ball followed by a forty metre sprint to score under the post to give Carrick a 22-3 lead at half time.
The second half was a fractured affair as the visitors hunted for a bonus point.
Within eight minutes the game had its first stoppage. Ferguson, the Kilmarnock full back, received a head knock, as he tried to retrieve a loose ball. Both physiotherapists attended and called for an ambulance after concerns over Ferguson’s condition.
The game was restarted on a neighbouring pitch and whilst the medics were treating Ferguson, McGuire, the Kilmarnock prop, went down. There was a worry about his condition and the game was stopped. After a ten minute delay, McGuire was able to limp off the pitch and the game was restarted.
Carrick were in complete control and gained their bonus point when a poor clearance kick was fielded by Speirs who attacked down the right wing and linked with his forwards and backs to create the overlap for Ward to score in the right corner. Johnson converted.
With twenty minutes left the Rick support were hoping for more tries and from a quick lineout, five minutes later, Raby scored an unconverted try. Ferguson was released from hospital on Sunday with no long term issues.
Carrick are at home to Newton Stewart on Saturday with kick off at 2pm.