After a three week break due to Scottish internationals, Carrick rugby returned to action with a 20-7 win over Garnock on Saturday to keep up their winning streak.
However, the Maybole side weren’t at their best and the coaching staff are hoping for a much improved performance in their next fixture.
On a grey day, the Carrick faithful were not treated to a similar performance when Carrick beat Garnock 55-9 away from home earlier in the season.
The combination of the break and Garnock’s aggressive defence produced a litany of errors by the home side.
By the tenth minute Carrick had regrouped though. Christie knocked a penalty into the corner and a simple catch and drive from the lineout allowed Yan Young to crash over for an unconverted try.
Slowly Carrick began to control the game but their lack of precision and decision making could not break down an organised visitor’s defence.
Garnock still posed threats of their own but, in the 26th minute, an attempted long pass from their playmaker Walker was intercepted by Clark who raced forty metres to score under the posts. Christie added the extra points.
This seemed to settle the Carrick support as the home side continued to dominate the game but the only score came in the last minute of the half when Garnock lost possession at a lineout, the Carrick forwards drove the ball forwards towards the line and when the ball was released across the field it looked as if the home side’s inability to handle the ball would butcher the chance to score but Grant Ward rescued the dropped pass and scored.
Turning round seventeen points up with three tries in the bag and having had the better of the game in the latter part of the first half it would only be a matter of time before the bonus try was achieved. It was not to be.
In the early exchanges, of the half, the home side had the territorial advantage but Walker’s tactical kicking down the slope began to stretch the home side’s defence. In the 56th minute he found touch in the Carrick 22. Carrick were penalised for not allowing the ball to travel five metres in the lineout. The quick tapped free kick caught the Carrick defence napping and three phases later the Garnock forwards drove over for a converted score.
Carrick replied immediately when Christie converted a breakdown penalty from in front of the posts and that was the last effective play from the home side.
Momentum had changed, Garnock began to believe they could win the game, their scrummage began to dominate and their forward rucking and mauling was impressive. Although on the back foot the Carrick defence creaked but did not crack even when down to fourteen men.
It was a disappointed but relieved coaching team that welcomed the final whistle with a 20 -7 win.
The second team’s league opponents called off on Thursday night which allowed the match day ball sponsor, Stuart Bryden, a second team stalwart, to attend the game.
Next week’s opponents for both teams are Lenzie with the first team at Lenzie with a 2 pm KO