Carrick-on-Shannon travelled to Ballina last Saturday in the Connacht U15s Division 1 League.
Conditions were perfect for rugby and the opportunity was a perfect one for Carrick to overturn the one point defeat when these teams met in Carrick last October.
Ballina extracted the first points with an early try in the corner but Carrick, inspired by Captain Killian McAuley, responded when first centre Eoin McLoughlin dodged and weaved his way to a try under the posts.
Carrick camped in the Ballina half of the pitch for most of the next 20 minutes with Prop Josh Young, Winger Rory Kelly and Lock Sean Nee each pushed back from touching down as they pressed the Ballina try line. An injury just before half time to Cian Singleton forced his withdrawal which stopped the Carrick momentum. Ballina exploited the opportunity and ran in tries to hold a 17-7 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Ballina pressed home their advantage and ran in three unanswered tries before Carrick rallied. Though down a man Carrick continue to press Ballina scoring two late tries by Ashley Maziya leaving a final score of 42-17 in favour of the hosts.
This was a great whole team performance by Carrick but special mention goes to Josh Young, Sean Nee and Ruari King in the forwards and Eoghan Shanley, Eoin McLoughlin, and Eoghan Matthews in the backs.
The final League game this season will be away to Westport. And then it’s on to a tough, but winnable, away fixture at Claremorris in the Connacht Cup.
Carrick: Cian Singleton, Eoghan Shanley, Ashley Maziya, Eoin McLoughlin, Rory Kelly, Senan Harte, Jack Hughes, Eoghan Matthews, Ruairi King, Killian McAuley (C), Josh Young, Brian King, Aaron Aldridge, Sean Nee, Con McNabola.
Minis: On Saturday, Carrick Mini Rugby hosted their final home blitz against Buccaneers RFC. Our thanks to the U8s and U9 coaches who coordinated the blitz and to the parents of the U8s, U9s players who supported the event managing the car parks and providing the post blitz food and beverages in the IWCA facilities.
The combined forces of the U8 & U9 team played a big strong Bucs Team. With courage, commitment and no small degree of skill, the team sparkled in the morning Sun. Crisp passing, instinctive line breaks and thunderous tackling lead to a very entertaining match played in the best spirit of the game. Well done to all players and a special thanks to all the parents who assisted in the organization of the blitz.
Well done to the U10s who had a tough match against a strong Buccaneers side and were unlucky to lose by a narrow margin, scoring a great try with the last play of the game.
There were 11 Carrick Under 11s players who took on 25 Buccaneers over two and a half games at this morning's home blitz. After an unsettling start in their first game, Carrick came back and put in some great and all the teams' effort came together to cause some lovely tries. We lost one player in the last quarter of the last game to injury and for a short period our players' heads dropped. Overall it was a promising morning with great potential for the future of our Under 11s for the rest of the season. Well done to all our players and supporters this morning.
U12 had a tough encounter today with Buccaneers. However Carrick players never gave up and eventually scored a well worked team try. Well done to all the players. We are very low on numbers at U12 so I would encourage all players to bring a friend interested in playing Rugby to training.