Carrick RFC (U15s) 25 – 24 Ashbourne (U15s)
Ashbourne Rugby Club, which straddles the Meath – Dublin border, sent their U15s for a two-day tour to Carrick RFC last weekend. Conditions were perfect for open flowing rugby and both teams obliged the large crowd who had travelled from near and far.
Ashbourne extracted the first points with an early try under the posts to lead 7 – 0 after seven minutes. This was the catalyst for Carrick to show that the best of Connacht can compete with the best of Leinster any day.
Standout ball carrying by Ashley Maziya, Adam Langan, and Josh Young drove the Meath men back into their own ’22 and quick ball from the ensuing ruck gave Sean Nee a difficult run to the line. Game on at 5–7 to the visitors. Number 8 Nee’s second try came from a pre-planned move. He took the ball from the base of the scrum and exploited a blindside gap and weak tacking to run 40 meters for the try. 10–7 to the hosts.
Playing out of his usual position, Carrick Outhalf Eoghan Matthews controlled the game out of hand or with his boot – more reminiscent of Ronan O’Gara than the converted scrumhalf he is. His clever kick to the corner late in the first half was fielded by Ashbourne’s winger under fierce pressure from Carrick’s Alan Crowe. Crowe stripped the ball from his opponent and stepped one metre over the try line for the easiest score of his career. Carrick led 15 – 7 at the break.
Inspired by Captain Killian McAuley, and lineout dominance by Brian King, Carrick started the second half where they left off the first. But Ashbourne had a different script. They pinned Carrick into a fierce defensive effort for 20 unrelenting minutes. Try saving tackles by full back Cian Singleton and ferocious rucking by groundhogs Aaron Aldridge and Ruairi King undoubtedly kept Carrick in the game. The siege was lifted when quick hands by Rory Kelly released Eddie Coyle inside his own ’22. Coyle’s sublimely timed pass to his winger left Eoghan Shanley with three defenders and 50 metres separating him from the try line. Easy! 20 – 7 Carrick.
Ashbourne responded tremendously with three unanswered tries to lead 20 – 24 with two minutes remaining. Pressure on the Connacht men! A full team effort from Carrick controlled the ball for five phases before Matthews chipped a ball into the corner for winger Senan Harte to chase. The Ashbourne player who fielded the ball was bundled to the ground by the determined Harte who then scooped up the spilled ball to touch down in the corner at the death. 25 – 24 to Connacht over Leinster in a nine try thriller.
Carrick Rugby would like to acknowledge the on-the-field and off-field sportsmanship of the 16 Ashbourne players. They are a credit to their coaches, club and community and we look forward to a return game on the east coast next season. And now it’s on to a tough, but winnable, away fixture at Claremorris in the Connacht Cup.
Carrick RFC team: K. McAuley (Capt.), A. Aldridge, E. Coyle, A. Crowe, S. Harte, R. Kelly, B. King, R. King, A. Langan, E. Matthews, S. Nee, A. Maziya, C. Singleton, E. Shanley, J. Young.
Carrick RFC Minis enjoy Sligo Blitz
Last Saturday Carrick RFC Minis travelled to Sligo to take on a strong Sligo minis selection. Conditions were ideal for rugby with our hosts utilising the fantastic facilities at IT Sligo. Our thanks to Sligo RFC for a great day of rugby and for the post match refreshments.
There was a near full turnout from the under 9s where we met two strong Sligo Teams. With great heart and developing skill set, the team was up for the battle. In a fiery physical contest, the team matched their larger opponents. With their trademark free flowing offloading style and some brilliant line breaks the under 9s showed they were not boys but men.
Well done to the Carrick U10s , who won both their games against the Sligo 1st and 2nd teams. Both wins were based on great defending with excellent tackling from all the players, combined with some well worked tries .
With their Connacht blitz postponed Carrick U11’s also travelled to Sligo to take on a Sligo squad that outnumbered them 3 to 1. On the day 8 players travelled, however what they lacked in numbers wasn’t evident in the levels of skill and determination that they showed during the 4 quarter games that they played. Well done to all who played on the day and a special thanks to Sligo’s Jack and Oisín who played with us on the day.
Due to the lack of U12 Carrick players at the blitz in Sligo today we were not able to field a full Carrick U12 team. The 7 players who did turn up had no choice but to train with the Sligo team who were very accommodating , but disappointed we could not field a team to challenge them . On a positive note the Sligo coaches complimented the excellent play by the 7 Carrick players and said they were good enough to play in any team in Connacht.
Connacht blitzes in all age groups will be taking place between now and April 1st for all age groups. Parents and players are asked to make every effort to travel to these blitzes to round off what has been an excellent season for all age groups.
Carrick RFC News and Fixtures updates
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