From good to better to brilliant: that’s been the story of Carrick-on-Suir’s Junior League campaign this season which now reads: played three won three following Sunday’s 18-8 win over Douglas at Tybroughney.
The mood of optimism that’s enveloped the Carrick men since their excellent pre-season is now reaping dividends where it matters: on the field of play.
The wins to date have been enormously satisfying given the close-fought nature of all three games, justly bolstering confidence in Carrick ranks.
Tightly fought matches in recent seasons, more often than not, ended with Carrick on
the wrong side of the result and out of promotion contention as a result. Not this time.
Never easy opponents, the Corkmen took on Carrick up front, with the hosts responding in kind during a hit-heavy opening 40 minutes. The half-time score read 6-3 in Carrick’s favour, with Ross Clery bisecting the posts with two penalties.
A matter of minutes into the second half, Carrick extended their lead through fly-half James Wallace, who broke through Douglas cover having received an excellent offload from the surging Peter Steele.
The hosts registered their second try of the afternoon through winger Alban Coughlan, who dived in by the uprights after marvellous work by ever-industrious prop Alan Murray. Clery added the conversion to put 15 points between the sides.
That the greatest frustration of Carrick’s performance was the concession of a late try to the visitors says much for the mindset that’s propelled the Tybroughney men to the top of Group B. A trip to Galbally awaits next Sunday (kick-off: 2.30pm) for a team that’s got promotion on its mind.
In the same section, Waterford City got off the mark thanks to a superb 15-5 win over Fermoy at Kilbarry, with the latter’s pre-season tag as promotion favourites firmly evaporating on the back of successive defeats.
City, whose good performances in their opening two matches were not reflected adequately in terms of points gained, now go into next Sunday’s trip to Dungarvan with some positive momentum and a renewed sense of optimism.
The West Waterford men will not be as buoyed as their city opponents come next weekend’s head-to-head as they went down to their third successive defeat – a 13-3 reversal at the hands of Galbally.
With just two more rounds of fixtures between now and the Christmas break, Carrick will know that victories over Galbally and Dungarvan on November 30th shall leave them in pole position.
City will be anxious to come away with a win from their trip down the N25 next
Sunday, safe in the knowledge that another big display over Douglas in Kilbarry on November 30th will keep them in contention.
From Dungarvan’s perspective, a win is needed and fast and if they don’t pick up something between now and Christmas, they’ll be looking towards cup competitions for some semblance of good fortune.
But right now in Group B, it’s advantage Carrick-on-Suir, who look more than up for the challenge that a promotion tilt demands.