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Carrick's flying start stuns BRA

By Ronnie Ingram

Carrickfergus Grammar pulled off the upset of the second round with a well deserved victory over the seeded Belfast Royal Academy.

"We got off to a flyer and never looked back," stated Carrick coach Neal Kennedy.

"Our convincing win over Lurgan College 22-3 had boosted our morale and we just continued where we left off from there."

The game was only three minutes old when Carrick went ahead. They varied their kick-off and went straight down the pitch for centre Christian Robinson to break through and score for Marc Ellison to convert.

Academy forced their way back but they were set back when seven minutes later Fionn McCormack intercepted and charged through from the '22' for the second to give Carrick a 14-point advantage.

Academy gradually settled down and with composure exerted a lot of pressure inside their opponent's territory. They looked dangerous, especially Matthew Dalton when he had the ball in hand but the home team defended resolutely. Before half-time Academy had a penalty from their out-half Michael Wilson.

"The second half was an enactment of the first, as we again started with determination. The forwards were aggressive and although Academy had the edge in the line outs and the scrums, we appeared to be much more mobile in the loose," Kennedy said.

"Michael Black was making ground and David Carse was kicking intelligently and we made full use of their mistakes in that Ellison added a penalty to put us 17-3 ahead.

"The Academy heads appeared to go down and chop tackling on their big players prevented them from making headway. Kris and Reece Berry were immense up front while fifth former No 8 Tom Gillespie was very good at the breakdown.

"Second row Adam Uruquhart won much ball and David Stewart was excellent in the loose."

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