It was the clash of last years two relegated Premier League teams at Ferney Park and it was Carrick who prevailed.
The visitors hit the front on 24 minutes when Michael Smith tapped in front close range after John Connolly had initially saved Martin Murray's shot.
Smith should have scored again 2 minutes later when he rounded goalkeeper Connolly but Ryan O'Reilly was back in time to clear off the line.
On the stroke of half time it was the tale of two incidents. First Ross Taheny appealed for a penalty having been brought to the ground going for a header and then Rangers went up the other end and netted a second through Smith.
The Mallards changed formation for the second half and spent the majority of the time in Carrick's half, but were unable to find the quality required in the final third.
The home side were awarded a penalty on 85 minutes when O'Reilly was fouled and Clarke stepped up to score, leaving a nervy last few minutes for Carrick.
Alas an equaliser couldn't be found and the Mallards come away empty handed.