Carrick RFC 10-39 Howe of Fife

Jack Todd dives over for his third try of the match.
Jack Todd dives over for his third try of the match.

Its not very often Howe visit new territory but the away trip to Maybole, for the match against Carrick, was a first for the club.

Coach Gavin Emerson changed the personnel for the trip to Ayrshire.

Fellow coach Ryan Venters appeared at stand-off, Jack Todd came in at centre, James Barclay and Sean Murray on the wing.

The forwards remained on similar lines, Cameron Willison starting in the second row, after a good showing against Ardrossan.

Carrick propped up the league and therefore a good performance from Howe was essential.

The first score came along before five minutes elapsed.

A strong individual run from Todd ripped the Carrick defence apart.

Todd scored under the posts to present an easy conversion for Ellison.

Todd scored a very similar try moments later after a strong run by Ellison.

Venters converted, deputising for Ellison who had to leave the field with a twisted knee.

Murray moved to centre and an introduction to the firsts for Keir Moran on the wing.

The forwards were winning good lineout ball, then mauled the ball effectively, making ground against the retreating Carrick pack.

A ploy which led to try from Jake Douglas who appeared at the bottom of a pile of players with the ball, having crossed the line.

The conversion was unsuccessful.

Douglas followed his try with a small misdemeanour, the referee adjudging he had slapped down a Carrick pass as he tried to block it’s progress, receiving a yellow card.

Carrick tried hard to inject direction into their game.

Howe continued their discipline in defence, where Fraser Allan once more lived off the turnover ball to great effect.

Carrick did exert a good deal of pressure on the Howe scrum.

Skipper Jamie Thomson, having difficulty generating go forward ball from a retreating platform.

Howe were creating scoring opportunities.

But poor passing and handling left the score at with Howe 19 points in front as the first half moved to the break.

Todd secured the fourth try and bonus point, and completed his hattrick, for a comfortable 24 point at half-time.

The second period continued in the same vain.

A long clearance kick from Carrick was gathered by Howe’s fullback Cammy Walker inside his own half.

Walker sprinted pass a flailing defence to score.

With a strong wind blowing, the conversion was misdirected.

Having had issues in the scrum early on, the Howe forwards with Allan at hooker, Johnstone at prop, and Jamie Holligan on the flank, turned the tables on their opposition.

With the domination they exerted, Dave ‘Taff’ Thomas powered his way over for try number 6.

As in the first half the Howe continued to create space and engineer opportunities, yet the same frailties materialised, Murray especially, not having a happy day.

Howe did score try number seven when the fast feet and pace of Walker eluded the defence.

With the conversion unsuccessful, Howe led by 39 points.

The expected rain fell from above and the Howe play unravelled some.

First Fraser had to limp off with a strained hamstring. His resilience in defence missing so Carrick scored an easy try.

Then Howe’s Walker received a red card for what the referee described as the third high tackle by a Howe player.

A yellow at most. Carrick scored a second.

Then a little brouhaha among the players, in front of the large travelling Howe support, brought the game to an end as the referee blew for time early.

With three home games to come, two against local rivals Perthshire, one in the cup competition, Howe will want to improve.

Cutting out mistakes and handling errors.

It’s been a long time since Howe have won four games on the trot and the focus now will be to extend their winning run.