Ties between Carrick and fellow West 1 side Helensburgh have always been high scoring affairs and this first round West Shielf match proved no different
The Rick, with three changes to the starting line-up after last week’s tense win against Newton Stewart, started well and were 17-0 up after 12 minutes mostly due to the fact that Calum Smith took the kick offs and made hard yards from each one and with some quick ball wingers Clark and McCulloch scored three superb tries.
Again, the large Carrick support were looking forward to the flood gates opening but Helensburgh had other ideas and scored a try from their centre to make the score 17-5.
Again Carrick woke up and scored another try to take the score to 24-5.
However, just before half-time, Helensburgh scored again; this time their centre broke through the Rick defence to touch down at the posts.
Some focused words from the coaching team at half-time had the desired affect when Michael Kirk scored his first competitive try for the Rick, with John Fulton converting to take the score to 31-12.
As seems to be the habit at the moment, Helensburgh hit back straight away when their flanker scored his side’s third try of the day.
It was from this point that a combination of good defence, Helensburgh’s fitness declining and some excellent counter attacking that Carrick scored three further tries from stand off Connor Wyllie, full back Allan Speirs and lastly from Lewis Clark who secured his hat trick with three minutes to go.
All were converted by John Fulton to take Carrick through to the quarter finals with a final score of 52-17. This means the Rick will travel up to Glasgow to play Allan Glens on Saturday, September 19.
The coaches and players were delighted that the attacking game that was a feature of last season showed real signs of a return and, coupled with some further work on defence, the Rick will travel to Lenzie next week with one thing on their mind - picking up a win in the first league game of the season.
Everyone at Carrick knows how dangerous Lenzie can be; however, with hard work on the training ground this week, the boys in blue will be looking forward to the trip to Viewfield.
The 2nd XV travelled to Anniesland to play last season’s runners up in West 1 GHK.
The team played very well throughout but the boys from Glasgow eventually won by 36-19.
The coaching team felt that for long spells they more than matched GHK but further work at training is required to make sure unit skills and phase play are improved. This week the 2s host Hillhead/Jordanhill 2s at the school field. Kick-off is 3pm.