Carrick edge to victory over Glasgow Accies

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Carrick RFC made it five wins out of five in BT West Division One as they held on to beat Glasgow Accies 29-26 at Maybole on Saturday.

The narrow victory keeps them top of the league alongside GHK as they continue their fine start after promotion last year.

The club are also celebrating after their fine form saw them awarded the BT Club of the Month for September.

Saturday’s game saw an established side in Glasgow Accies who have a history stretching back to 1873 take on a Carrick side who have only been full members of the Scottish Rugby Union since 1997.

It was a little damp underfoot but it was a windless sunny day, perfect for two teams that wanted to play expansive rugby.

The early part of the game was played in the Carrick half as the visitors dominated the early exchanges with Dalrymple and McDonald to the fore but no matter how much possession the Accies had the Carrick midfield defence was solid.

Then Carrick did what Carrick do well and turned the game on its head. In five minutes from the 14th minute of the game the home side scored 17 unanswered points. Firstly Clark collected a wayward clearance kick and attacked down the left wing.

When his run was halted the visitors scrambled the ball to touch but Clark took a quick thrown in to Johnson who stepped his way through a retreating defence to release the supporting Thomson to score.

Johnson converted and immediately from the kick off converted a penalty when the Accies were blown up for illegal entry to a maul.

Worse was to befall the visitors as the next kick off did not go the required 10 metres and from the resulting scrum on the half way line Smith, Ward and Speirs combined to set free right winger Dewar to score a converted try.

In previous matches this season this reverse for the opponents would have been terminal but the visitors continued their earlier pressure and from a lineout close to the home side’s line attacked through their forwards and after three recycled breakdowns Johnstone side stepped his way through a weakened ruck defence to score. Loomes added the extra points.

Five minute later he converted a penalty when Johnson, the Carrick fly half, drop out twenty two was charged down and the Carrick forwards were penalised for handling in the ensuing ruck.

In the last ten minutes of the half the Carrick eight’s dominance in the scrum began to take its toll and in the last play of the game the visitors were penalised for dropping the scrummage. Johnson converted from 50 metres to make the half time score 20-10. It was an excellent display of committed rugby from both sides where the neutral could have thought that Carrick was in control of the scoreboard but not quite the game.

The second half was a bit of a disappointment for the rugby enthusiast.

The game as a spectacle, but not as a tense contest, deteriorated as both sides fell foul of the referee as penalties rained down as ticker tape in Manhattan for a returning war hero.

The contest effectively became a shooting match between the respective gunslingers of Carrick and the visitors. Loomes and Johnson exchanged three penalties a piece until the 68th minute of the game still giving the home side a ten point advantage. In the latter part of this period Carrick’s overall control of the game should have sealed the victory and soothed their support’s nerves but white line fever and over eagerness prevented this.

It was a tense last ten minutes as Accies fought their way back into the game the home side lost a bit of composure and an understanding that territory and possession are the requirements to close out a close contest.

The visitors refused kickable penalties in an attempt to get a converted try and they did achieve this from McDonald who broke out a lineout maul to score. Fortunately for Carrick as the touch judges raised their flags the referee signalled full time to give Carrick the narrowest of a three point victory, 29- 26.

A relieved but happy Brown had little to say after the match other than to thank Broomhiill Coarse Fishery for their ball sponsorship.

At the Bearyards in Glasgow the Carrick 2nd XV had another big win 111-7 against their counterparts of Allan Glens. This means that both Carrick teams are top of their respective leagues.

This Saturday coming Carrick entertain Kilmarnock in the first round of the shield with a 3 pm kick off.