Carrick kicked off with a strong wind behind them and for the first 10 minutes were the dominant team. This was the start they would have hoped for with Carrick’s excellent number 10 bossing the game and soon their pressure was rewarded with a penalty, expertly converted in the difficult breeze by the out half.

Rattled by this shock and awe start from Carrick, Down needed to settle and hold onto the ball. After some close quarter battling from Down’s pack, they made their way towards Carrick’s 22. Their superior strength in a maul saw the ball quickly passed out to the backs and Down had their first try beside the posts.

This was a taste of what was to follow and although Carrick defended courageously they would give up another 21 points this half, the pick of the tries from Down’s right wing who raced his way in stepping 2 defenders to dot down under the posts.

Half time Down 26 Carrick 3

With the wind advantage in the 2nd half Down pinned Carrick in their own 22. They showed proficient handling in the back line with the plays controlled by Down’s out half and another 5 tries, 2 converted, were added to their score.

Benches emptied but the contest was over and in the end it was a comfortable win for Down.

Carrick should hold their heads high as they never threw in the towel and should look to their opening 10 minutes as a inspiration for future matches.

Final score: Carrick GS 3 Down High 55

Down High will travel to Omagh Academy for thier 3rd Round match, full draw here.

Report and pictures Richard Owens

#SUFTUM