On Tuesday afternoon both Carrick Academy U15 and U18's played against Douglas Ewart in the first round of the Scottish Cup. The Under 15 game kicked off first in glorious sunshine with Carrick playing some fine rugby during the first 15 minutes. Two fine tries from Blair Cooper gave the Maybole boys an early lead with Connor Wyllie converting the second try. However the Dumfrieshire boys always looked threatening and hit back with two tries of their own both converted by their talented stand off. This gave them a 12-14 half time lead.
The second half was a tight affair with both sides having chances to score but committed defence stopped any further scoring. However with 3 minutes to go Gavin McMillan burst through 3 tackles to give Carrick the lead. Carrick then went about holding onto possession for the remaining 2 minutes and did this successfully and eventually from a series of pick up and drives that man McMillan scored again to put the result beyond any doubt. The referee blew for full time to load cheers from the large crowd that had gathered to watch the game.
Final Score Carrick 22 - 14 Douglas Ewart
This was a fantastic game of rugby of which both sides contributed to a well fought and sporting affair. For the boys from Maybole this was their 3rd game of the season and 3rd win however the players and coaches are more than aware that major challenges lie ahead. Carrick will now play the winner of Cathkin V St Columba's at home in the next round.
After the excitment of the first game it was the 1st XV turn to shine. Douglas Ewart were unable to field a front row but both schools agreed to play the game and this proved a useful exercise for both teams. Douglas Ewart started well and for the first 5 minutes had plenty of possession without ever looking like scoring. Carrick started to come into the game after the shaky start and from a lineout Captain Craig Davidson scored his sides opening try. A further two tries were scored before half time the first from Ross McCulloch and the second a cracking try from Blair Jardine. Both were converted by Duncan Sturgeon.
Half Time 19-0
Mr B then made several changes to the side and this seemed to effect the Carrick side as Douglas Ewart scored a fine try from their centre who broke through several tackles to score in the corner. The conversion was missed. Instructions from the touchline eventually got through to the side to up the tempo and with this came Carrick's best spell of the game with John Dewar, Duncan Sturgeon and Johnny Webster all scoring fine tries. Duncan Sturgeon converted all 3 to take the score to 40 - 5.
At this stage Joe Cree demonstrated why the coaches rate him so highly with two fine individual tries from scrum half with both converted again by that man Sturgeon to give a final score of 54 - 5.
Afterwards Mr B said:
I was happy with the last 20 minutes where we started to play some good rugby. During this spell our pack started to pick and go and offload very well, which meant we got in behind their defence, this allowed us to create fast ball for our backline and they demonstrated what they can do by finishing the opportunities that came their way. However I was not pleasedwith elements of our play and we will work on them at training. We have some big games coming up and we will have to be at our best if we are to compete against these sides.
As ever the Mr B always has his eye on the next challenge and this will come in the shape of Belmont on Wednesday 23rd September at the school field, kick off 4.30pm. Belmont won the Scottish Plate last season and contain many players from the Ayr RFC U18 side that have been developing well recently. They will provide stiff opposition for the blues but Carrick are more than aware they could take a major scalp with a win over their more experienced opponents.
Both the S1 and S2 sides were also in action last week with the S1 team winning their first game of rugby against Girvan by 21 - 6. Numbers at training have been fantastic with 24 players attending training on a Monday after school. Only 2 of the boys have played rugby before but the coaches are looking forward to working hard with this group of boys as there is real potential within the squad. The S2 side also defeated Girvan by 39 -20. This was a great match for all involved and again demonstrated the outstanding work that is being understaken by Alan Drennan and his team of coaches at Girvan. Well done to all involved.
Last Thursday saw all the rugby players in the school take part in a sponsored run to raise funds for the school rugby fund. Over 140 pupils took part and it proved a worthwhile event as over £3,000 was raised to help cover some of the transport costs.
The Girls have been training for the past 3 weeks and the coaches are delighted with the hardwork that the girls have put in so far. Over 30 girls are now signed up to play this season!!!
On Friday 25th September the school will host a foundation rugby coaching course. This will be delivered by Damian Kelly and our very own SVQ student Colin Sturgeon. Over 12 senior pupils and two parents are signed up to take part. This course allows our senior pupils to gain their coaching certificate and is a vital part of the Carrick Academy senior coaching programme.
The school would also like to thank the following companies/organisations for their continued support
W G and Sons
Maybole Health Centre
Strathclyde Fire Service
Without this help the school would be unable to field the 7 teams that it does, thank you!!!!
Next weeks events
Tuesday - S3 and 1st XV Training
Wednesday - Carrick 1st XV V Belmont 1st XV
Friday - Foundation rugby course
Saturday - S1, S2 and S3/4 V Wellington School, Away, Kick off 9.30 am.