BT Shield Semi-Final



HOLDERS Carrick coasted into the showpiece final at Murrayfield for a second successive year as they eased past the borderers.

The early exchanges were fast and furious, with both sides putting in big hits and trying to play an expansive brand of rugby.

Carrick were the first to score with two penalties from Kyle Johnson, before Hawick hit back with a converted score under the posts to make the score 7-6.

Carrick hit back immediately with Iain Speirs scoring a try which Johnson again converted. Hawick then scored another penalty. Just before half-time, Hawick cleared from their own 22 but failed to find touch. Instead they found the youngest member of the Carrick team, Benji Brown, who made a fantastic break down field before passing to Russell McCulloch to score an unconverted try.

Following the half--time break both sides exchanged penalties. Hawick then had a kick charged down that Montgomery hacked through before being gathered and scored by Carrick captain Michael Kirk. Johnson, whose kicking from hand and tee was immense all day, converted the try to make it 28-13.

After a period of Carrick pressure the ball was worked through the backs for Benji Brown to score in the corner. Hawick responded with a converted try and Johnson added a penalty before Carrick winger Lewis Clark ran in a try from distance which Johnson converted.

Both sets of players deserve huge credit for a fantastic game of rugby. From a Carrick perspective every player excellent and this was epitomised by Carrick number eight Blair Jardine who having put in massive hits and fantastic runs all day walked off the pitch bloodied and bruised but with a massive smile on his face.

Next stop Murrayfield on Saturday, April 22 as Carrick attempt to retain the trophy they won 12 months ago as they face Murrayfield Wanderers in the final.