Promoted up to National 3 in 2018, Carrick seem to have run out of momentum in this, their second, season at this level having earned just a single loser’s bonus from their first seven games. By contrast Lasswade have halted their downward slide and have lost just two League games from eight and including a Cup tie have a run of four victories and are in touch with the leading group.
Lasswade kicked off down the slight slope on a soft pitch with rain looking a possibility but in the event it stayed away.
The hosts started the stronger side and within five minutes won a penalty in front of the posts and Fulton bagged the three points.
The next ten minutes were dominated by the visitors both territorially and possession. On the quarter hour a penalty to touch set up a short range line out which was at first contained by the home side but Matt Hart emerged with the ball from a collapsed maul on the line and spun out of tackles to touch down. Smith converted from wide out to make 3-7.
Honours were largely even for the next quarter hour especially up front but Lasswade looked the more cohesive and dangerous with the ball out wide.
With the half hour passed, Robertson broke down the tight side from a maul on half way and Wichary was on hand for the off-load. Wichary put a well weighted grubber towards the in goal area. Matt hart was in close support and just pipped the defence to the touchdown for his second try of the day, Smith was again on target with the conversion to set up the half time score of 3-14.
With the slight advantage of the slope Carrick had the better of the early exchanges of the second period but settled for a Fulton penalty after seven minutes.
Lasswade were the more attacking side thereafter with Jamie Graham standing out and earning Lasswade’s player of the match. However, Carrick prevented further scores and were the more adept at ripping ball in tackles and turnovers at the rucks and mauls. As their frustration and desperation mounted, not helped by a missed easy penalty, the game became a bit disorderly and unstructured on both sides.
With just 2 minutes of normal time left the hosts decided to secure at least the losers’ bonus when Lasswade were judged to have collapsed a maul in the shadow of their posts. Fulton‘s boot narrowed the gap to five points making for a tense last few minutes while Carrick threw everything at the Lasswade line but not enough to change the score line.
Given the statistics to date Lasswade might have hoped for a try bonus from this game. Without it they remain in fifth place but with Howe beating the league leaders, Greenock, and Ardrossan losing at Hillhead there is now just 3 points between Lasswade and the new leaders, Berwick.
This Saturday will produce more fireworks as Berwick welcome Ardrossan who are currently third and Lasswade are at home against a resurgent, second placed Howe of Fife. Kick-off 2pm.