BT West One



By Derek Murdoch

IRVINE remain without a league win this season after another heavy defeat by BT Shield holders Carrick in Maybole.

The visitors made a promising start when Kevin Lang forced his way over on the quarter hour after a good turnover by his packmates at a scrum, to add to Per Jacobson’s first-minute penalty.

But they were unable to respond when the hosts turned up the heat, and having edged in front by the interval Carrick ran riot in the second half.

The home side – who remain unbeaten this season – can now look forward to welcoming Uddingston for a Regional Shield quarter-final, while only points difference separates Irvine from this week’s hosts Oban at the bottom of the table.

Irvine made a game of it for 50 minutes on their previous visit before Kyle Johnston scored the first of seven tries en route to a 52-6 victory. Johnston, who started on the bench, was not among the scorers this time but there was a similar sense of inevitability about each of Carrick’s eight tries when they arrived.

The writing was already on the wall as the game entered the second quarter, when the hosts laid siege to the Irvine line from an attacking lineout, and after several attempts were foiled winger Ross McCulloch finally crossed on the left.

Centre John Fulton was unable to add the conversion, but landed a penalty on the half hour to square the match at 8-8 after an Irvine forward was ruled guilty of side entry at the breakdown.

The pressure continued to mount on the visitors as half time approached, and after Fulton had goaled another penalty for a high tackle, McCulloch’s opposite number Sean Young crossed on his side to put clear daylight between the teams for the first time.

Fulton’s conversion made it 18-8 at the break, and the home side came flying out of the traps afterwards, adding three tries in the first 10 minutes through a brace for scrum-half Greg Montgomery and a single from flanker Grant Ward. Fulton’s conversions put Carrick on easy street at 39-8 ahead.

Those tries ended the match as a contest, and with Irvine running out of ideas the only question that remained was how many more the hosts wanted. And after New Zealander Judah Moala-Liava’a notched his debut try, Young scored his second – converted by Fulton – and Montgomery completed his hat-trick to round off a miserable afternoon for the visitors.

CARRICK – Josh Moala-Liava’a; S Young, J Fulton, Judah Moala-Liava’a, R McCulloch; C Wyllie, G Montgomery; G Dick, J Connon, S Raby (captain), D Andrew, D Brown, S Bryden, G Ward, B Jardine. Subs: J Webster, R Festorazzi, K Johnston, B Cooper.

IRVINE – P Jacobson; N McMillan, J Cresswell, R Elliston (capt), J Carson; S Buswell, R McVey; E Callaghan, B Auld, L Ferguson, A Nugent, J Goodlet, K Finneran, C Maxwell, K Lang. Subs: C Stevenson, S Thomson, S Cook, C Williams.

Meanwhile there was better news for the 2nd XV who, despite travelling to Rozelle Park to take on their own Carrick counterparts with only fifteen players, managed to register their first win of the season. Daniel Dunsmuir, Ross Dow and Chris Mills scored a try each, while Dunsmuir added two conversions and two penalties in a 25-22 victory. They are next due to travel to West of Scotland.