Saturday’s game was transferred to the milder climes of Maybole from the frozen east of Dunblane and at the interval Coach Brown must have been wondering whether that decision was one of his better ideas. Like the previous week against Waysider's who had taught the home pack a few lessons in rucking, the McLaren forwards were the quicker to the breakdown and secured most of the breakdown ball.
With the visitor’s half back quick of feet and thought it was no surprise that most of the first quarter was played in the Carrick half of the field and had taken advantage of two breakdown penalties to lead by 6 points.
Early in the second quarter after Brown had rejigged the pack the home forwards exerted a degree of control and from a scrummage on the right left winger Dewar scored. Wyllie added the extra points.
With four minutes to the interval Wyllie again goaled a penalty and the Rick support relaxed expecting more to come.
McLaren, belying their lowly position in the league, had other ideas and kicked a penalty into the corner and from the lineout mauled the ball over. The extra points were goaled giving the visitors a deserved 13 to 10 lead.
The second half started as the first with Carrick being penalised for an offside offence and the six point differential began to look insurmountable even although the visitors’ numbers had been reduced by a yellow card offence.
Wyllie, in the 66th minute, gave the home support a little hope when he reduced the leeway to three points but it was not until the 75th minute he managed to tie the match.
“Was it two points lost or one point gained”? the pundits may ask. Coach Brown may be asking, “Can we learn from Waysider's and McLaren’s breakdown play”?