East Kilbride 3 – Carrick 40
Carrick make it two from two at Sunny Torrance House
Bright sunshine, a firm pitch and warm enough for spectators to cast anoraks and overcoats. All that we wished for was a good game of rugby and an EK victory. Sadly this last wish was denied us as the Torrance House team’s performance failed to deliver the hoped for result while the opposition, Carrick, showed why they are hot favourites to top the division and gain promotion to the national leagues.
The opening 30 minutes of the game promised much for EK. The home scrum functioned well putting the visitors under pressure and in line-outs EK were taking the Carrick throw in at will. The exchanges were fierce and a full bloodied contest with a close final score was anticipated. During this opening exchange Carrick had missed with a penalty attempt while Roddy Beaton had converted EK’s to make the score East Kilbride 3, Carrick 0. However, with just under 10 minutes of the half remaining the visitor’s left wing took the ball inside his own half of the field and showed speed, strength and determination to break and evade tacklers to touch down. The conversion made the score EK 3 – Carrick 7. The hoped for repost from EK failed to materialise and it was Carrick that began to dominate the game scoring two more tries, both converted, to make the half-time score EK 3 – Carrick 21.
The visitors from Maybole started the second half as they had finished the first gaining the bonus point 4th try from sustained pressure on the EK line 2 minutes into the half. By this time Carrick were in control of the game and while EK players continued to show flashes of good rugby it was they who looked tired. The line out that they had dominated in the first quarter was no longer providing ball for the backs and though the scrum remained strong Carrick countered this with a quick strike that enabled them to move the ball quickly from the danger area. Ian Brown provided some elusive running and Paul Rosie and Calum Aitken carried well but, against a robust Carrick defence, did not make the big yards they have done against other sides. Carrick scored twice more with tries 18 and 36 minutes into the half, the first of which was converted. With time running out EK attacked the Carrick line but failed to cross it making the final score a disappointing (for East Kilbride) EK 3 – Carrick 40.
This was a disappointing performance from the East Kilbride team not only because the margin of Carrick’s victory was 37 points but also because the Carrick’s tactics were quite similar to those EK encountered earlier in the season – stout defence, move the ball wide or kick deep into EK territory. Also, having played well to contain the game in the opening half hour it was most disappointing to witness how, once Carrick had scored their first try, they were allowed to assume domination of the game. There were many examples of good individual play from EK players with Mark Ellison being pretty secure under the high ball and Ian Brown making some telling runs for which he is awarded EK man of the match. There were also some costly mistakes, misplaced kicks that handed the ball to the opposition and careless offloads that had a similar effect. These are areas that can be worked on.
Carrick showed us all that they are a fit, strong and skilful unit that deserves to be at the top of the table. We wish them well in next Saturday’s Shield Final and for the remainder of this season.
East Kilbride Team: C. McLellan, R. Anderson, E. Beaton (Capt.), A. Irvine, P. Rosie, C. Hastie, C. Aitken and R. Beaton. A. Stott and R. Murray. I. Brown, R. Greenfield, C. Ferguson, G. Hagerty and M. Ellison.
Replacements: A. Steel, C Quinn, K Noble, A Proctor