Carrick-on-Suir remain firmly on course to top Division Three Group B of the Munster Junior League thanks to a 24-10 win in Douglas on Sunday afternoon.
Recording their sixth win in seven league outings, Carrick currently sit seven points clear of Galbally, the only team to defeat them in this group to date.
Intriguingly, Galbally, who defeated struggling Dungarvan 36-0 on Sunday, will travel to Tybroughney for the next round on March 8th, knowing they must win and deny Carrick a losing bonus to remain in table topping contention.
Carrick, who have a game less to play than Galbally, will have a trip to Dungarvan on March 29th which still looks likely to seal their Group victory.
Such a scenario is likely to see Carrick hosting Saint Mary’s in the Division Three semi-final, with Galbally and Douglas left to battle it out for a semi-final visit to Castleisland.
Carrick trailed to a try from the hosts before fortuitously getting off the scoring mark; James Wallace’s penalty striking a post only to bounce back into his path for an unexpected run-in, which he also converted.
An early second half penalty from Ross Clery (who had been sin-binned in the first half) extended Carrick’s advantage to five points before the hosts ran in a try down the corner to level matters.
Despite two further yellow cards for Jamie Steele and Dean Landy (Carrick have picked up eight such binnings in their last three games), the pacesetters didn’t panic and stuck gamely to their task.
Having been awarded a penalty, Carrick opted for a kick into the 22; the resulting line-out leading to a fine move across the backline which set Peter Steele on a try-scoring run from 20 yards out. Clery converted and Carrick led again, this time by seven points.
With the scent of victory in their nostrils, despite a less than comfortable afternoon against the Douglas pack, Carrick put good pressure on Douglas as they tried to work through a few phases.
An excellent turnover on the halfway line led to a superb counter-attacking opportunity for the ever alert Steele who sped clear to touch down under the posts.
Clery again converted to seal a great win for Carrick, the only disappointment of the afternoon being the failure to add a bonus point.
But considering the last visit to Douglas ended in a 50-point-reversal for Carrick, this was disappointment of the ‘small d’ kind for the men in red and blue. .