Carrick attack too strong for Quins
Carrick 39, Hawick Harlequins 19
Carrick’s quickness in interception and power of counter-attack proved too much for a battling Hawick Harlequins side at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.
The BT East District League One champions survived an early surge of pressure to lead at half-time but the Ayrshire side hit back and completed a BT Shield triple by winning the final for the third successive year.
Carrick were guilty of a few spilled passes despite solid attacking early on, and a Kyle Johnson penalty attempt hit the crossbar,before they took an unsurprising lead through a pushover try at a scrum from back row Calum Smith, with Johnson adding the extras.
Robust defending from Hawick kept their line intact as Carrick continued in the ascendancy and a superb surge through the middle from lock forward Rory Smith led to their opening try, The ball found its way to full-back Graeme Lothian on the right for five points but the conversionn was missed.
Hawick applied more pressure to the Carrick line as half time approached and they moved ahead as Bruce Campbell sent skipper Steven Mabon across the line. Adam Hall added the extras to give the Quins a 7-12 interval lead.
Carrick, however, hit back with the perfect answer soon after the restart as Aiden Strachan scored a try, with Johnson adding the conversion attempt.Then, in the 50th minute, an excellent solo run down the left by Lewis Clark, following an interception, stretched the lead to 19-12, although Johnson was off target with the extras. However, he edged Carrick 22-12 in front with a penalty goal,
Hawick’s final score of the day came as Bruce Campbell scored under the posts in the 58th minute and Hall nailed a simple conversion to give them some hope at 22-19.
Then a promising break by Quins was cut short by another interception from Clark, who surged on to score a second try similar in many ways to his first. Johnston converted.
Carrick pulled further ahead in the 69th minute as Smith scored another pushover try on the right hand side, and Quins knew it was game over when replacement Blair Cooper scored a breakaway try in the dying minutes. Johnson missed with the last two conversion attempts, and Carrick’s Ross McCulloch was sin-binned eight minutes from time, but Carrick lifted the prize with a final tally of 39-19.