Carrick Ladies made the play off for AIL2N in this match against Ballyshannon at the weekend. Pauline McFerran tells us how.
Carrick ladies hosted Ballyshannon in a crucial league semi final, the outcome of which would decide one half of the promotion play off to AIL 2.
This match was destined to be a physical battle as the previous meeting saw the visiting Carrick side leave with a narrow victory, despite having six tries ruled held up.
Carrick kicked off into a tough first half, which saw the previous AIL2 side score the only points of the match alongside two disallowed tries.
The sides had met previously in a less vital league environment and the same physical encounter ensued. Carrick’s backs played more of a vital role today, as opposed to the strong forwards game played previously and the moves were precise and well practiced.
Previous centre Aimee Ellis moved to number ten to command a strong back line in attack and defence. Arlene Devine played a fantastic attacking centre and the backs played a pivotal role in securing the ball, attacking and causing a disturbance to the Ballyshannon defence.
The first half consisted of a mainly Carrick attack, however misfortune reined upon the attack several times and a penalty kick from centre Arlene Devine put Carrick ahead in the first half. A Carrick attack on the line saw Carrick captain Lydine Wilson frustrated with a disallowed try, due to being held up on the line. Unsettled play quickly turned to the Carrick advantage and the half ended with prop Sabrina Higgins going over the line only for the try to be disallowed as the half time whistle blew.
The second half began with a spirited attack from the visitors, which was quickly broken down and returned by a determined Carrick. Play remained in mid pitch for a short period until the Carrick attack began in force.
The strong Carrick pack took the attack right to the try line, after a couple of disruptions the ball went over the line, courtesy of hooker Suzie Deehan, however the try was ruled as held up and play continued for the final few moments.
Both sides fought hard for possession as the referee announced the final 2.5 minutes but the determined Carrick side held on and the final whistle was blown during an attack on the ‘Shanon 5 yard line, final score 3-0 to Carrick.
Carrick celebrated victory in the usual way, clapping the opponents off the pitch and will now meet the winners of Letterkenny v Ballymoney in the play off final on 24th March at a venue to be decided.