Last Saturday the Smiley Monroe Lisburn Firsts went down against a strong Carrick outfit, which is currently sitting second in the League.
Because of injury and unavailability, Lisburn fielded without four of their normal back line and two of their accustomed pack and within fifteen minutes of the start, paid the price with a penalty and an unconverted try in the corner after a rather simple chip ahead was not dealt with properly.
Nevertheless, the Lisburn pack soon settled down after this set back and started to gain parity in the possession stakes.
Once again the scrums were very good and hooker Pete Graham got one or two strikes against the head while at line out time Andy Barron, Peter Ireland and Richard Armstrong got their own ball back safely.
Coming up to the interval some great driving in the loose saw the pack hammering away on the Carrick line but unfortunately their efforts were not rewarded and the interval score remained at 8-0.
The third quarter of the match remained scoreless with the Lisburn pack, urged on by their Captain Matt Edgar, trying all they knew to get a breakthrough score.
They came close on a number of occasions but failed to capitalise on some great work by the pack who were dominating proceedings in much of the play and despite the best efforts of outhalf Ross Edgar to push forward and probe the home defence. On twenty minutes, following 45 minutes of stalemate, Carrick got another score following a short period of pressure.
A long pass to the right saw their centre run a strong line at the Lisburn defence and he broke through to score. The conversion made it 15-0.
Lisburn did not give up hope and immediately came right back on the attack. Just when it looked as if they were about to score through prop Phil Jefferson, who was charging for the line, the ball was knocked out of his hands.
The loose ball was then kicked up the pitch and the following Carrick attack hacked the ball on to the Lisburn line and then fell on it to score a very soft try. With fifteen minutes remaining, Carrick went hunting for a fourth bonus point try but to Lisburn’s credit their defence stood strong and the score remained the same until the final whistle.