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Inst youngsters shine as they make progress

By Ronnie Ingram

Instonians have been recruiting well during the summer and five of last season's Schools' Cup defeated finalists RBAI side were in action for the Seconds in their Junior Cup win at Carrickfergus.

Full-back Ben Scott, prop Luke McBratney, out-half John McClure (off to Newcastle University) and back row forwards James Crothers and David Lyness all played a bit part in the win.

"We have set out to give these new boys the chance to compete against strong opposition alongside more experienced players like Stewart McAllister and Nico Andress," said CMO Ken Keane.

"We consider them excellent prospects and hope they will develop into more accomplished players which is all to the benefit of Instonians."

Carrick created plenty of scoring chances during the game but failed to turn them into tries. At times they were able to push Inst back in the scrums giving Ryan McGonigle the opportunity to gather and make ground.

Neil Marsden came close to crossing early on and, eventually, the home team took the lead with a Johnny Sheriff penalty. Gradually Inst began to secure more ball and gain territory and just before the half-hour scrum-half Andress threw a dummy which outwitted the home defence. He weaved around a couple of defenders to touch down close to the posts for McClure to goal.

Carrick retorted by taking up a position around the visitors 22 before Brian Alexander showed his pace.

They were rewarded for their pressure with a penalty which Sheriff converted but then the Belfast side won the ball against the head on their opponent's 22 and McClure showed his skills when he cut through to cross on the right and give Inst a 12-6 interval advantage.

After the restart, Carrick kept forcing the pace and full-back Andy McIlroy was accurate with his kicking into the opposing territory. Sheriff added a third penalty at the end of the third quarter and towards the close the visiting defence was put under a lot of pressure.

McGonigle again went close but on the day it was the home defence that let them down conceding those two tries.

There were a number of good Carrick individual performances with Andy Kincaid and Chris Rodgers noticeable in the pack and McIlroy and Alexander in the three-quarters.

They have the making of a formidable side and only practice will turn those half chances into tries.

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