Carrick lose to Ballyclare for third loss in a row

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The Maxol-sponored Carrick 1st XV were beaten by league leaders Ballyclare by 46 points to 19 at Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday, September 16.

This defeat leaves Carrick rooted to the bottom of the league after three losses in a row.

Commenting after the Championship 1 clash, a Carrick spokesperson stated: “With a much changed side, Carrick were not expected to offer much of a challenge to the strong Ballyclare outfit and, indeed, the visitors did win comfortably, but the home side had their moments during the game; if they had not got off to such a bad start, they could have made things more difficult for their opponents.

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"With three tries in the first 15 minutes and the bonus point score after 25, Ballyclare were never in any danger of losing, but they were made to work hard in the closing 10 minutes of the first half and for much of the second period when the hosts scored two tries against the visitors' three.

Tom Simms Memorial Park, Carrickfergus. (Pic: Google).Tom Simms Memorial Park, Carrickfergus. (Pic: Google).
Tom Simms Memorial Park, Carrickfergus. (Pic: Google).
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“For Carrick, much of the work was defensive but there were moments of attacking brilliance from the backs, particularly out-half Simon White, and up front Conor Dodds, standing in at No 8, put in a strong performance both as carrier and tackler as did open-side Callum Simms, playing his last game before he goes off to university.

“Carrick got off to the worst possible start, conceding three tries in the first 15 minutes, with Ballyclare seemingly able to get over the gain-line at will, draw in Carrick defenders and create space out wide.

"It was perhaps fortunate for the home side that none of these tries was converted and when a break and elusive run from Simon White, followed by an accurate pass to winger Jack Leatham, produced a try, subsequently converted by Mike Hansen, the home side trailed by a more respectable 15 points to 7 after twenty minutes.

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"However, the visitors hit back almost immediately when they went over following multiple phases inside the Carrick 22. This try was converted to make the Ballyclare lead 22 points to 7. For much of the remainder of the half, Carrick put the visitors under some pressure and managed to play much of the game in their opponents' half. However, on the stroke of half-time one of the Ballyclare centres produced a searing break in mid-field and fed his full-back who scored near the posts. This try was also converted to give the visitors a 29-7 advantage at the break.

“For much of the third quarter, Carrick managed to keep the Ballyclare attack at bay and it was not until the 56 minute that they scored their sixth try from a penalty tap and go.

"The conversion made the score 36-7 in the visitors' favour and this was followed in the next 10 minutes by two unconverted tries to make the lead 46-7. However, in the last 10 minutes Carrick hit back with two tries of their own. After good work in mid-field by Mike Hansen and Owen Henry, Adam Hawthorne went over, Hansen adding the conversion and then, in injury time, the centre touched down after a clever kick over the Ballyclare try-line by Simon White. This try was not converted leaving the final score 46-19.”

Carrick face Dromore away next Saturday.

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