BT Shield Final



CLINICAL Carrick took advantage of the dry conditions to score seven tries and take home the title for a remarkable third time in succession on Sunday.

A number of early half-breaks had the crowd roaring both sides on, but the teams couldn’t capitalise on the space they created in the opening 15 minutes.

Hawick Harlequins looked particularly lively and a great run from Gav Douglas looked to have carved open the opposing defence before Ross Nichol powered through on the offload. Unfortunately for the Borderers he was stripped in the tackle and Carrick were let off.

It was turning into see-saw affair and Carrick were next on the attack, getting over the whitewash on two occasions in as many minutes only to be held up.

They wouldn’t be denied a third time, however, and their scrum bludgeoned over the line for man of the match Callum Smith to score. They successfully added the extras.

Carrick didn’t waste any time getting back on the attack and scrum-half Aiden Strachan burst through only for his pass not to go to hand and Quins to hack clear.

Still the Ayrshire side wouldn’t let up and it took a tackled player not releasing to relieve the pressure on Hawick Quins.

The enterprising play didn’t stop from either side and the BT Murrayfield crowd was in strong voice as Hawick Harlequins continued to find spaces.

Their ambition was to be rewarded as stand-off Gav Douglas showed good pace on the line to touch down and take the game to two points with the missed conversion.

Quins took the lead for the first time with a few minutes remaining of the half through captain Steven Mabon with Adam Hall’s conversion giving them a five-point lead at the break.

If Carrick had been rattled by Quins' first-half performance their play early in the second half didn’t show it.

They had two scores in the opening 10 minutes from Aiden Strachan and Lewis Clark to give them back control and a seven-point advantage.

Kyle Johnson added to the defending champions tally from the boot after 55 minutes but the Hawick side were next to cross the whitewash when Bruce Campbell completed some patient play to tighten things up going into the final quarter.

Carrick hadn’t read the script, however, and Lewis Clark pounced on an interception to run beneath the posts and put some breathing room between the teams shortly after.

Not even with a man in the sin-bin would Carrick be contained, as Blair Cooper showed pace down the wing to put the seal on their famous triumph in the corner.