13th Sept v Billingham

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The opening day of the season for Carlisle against newly promoted Billingham was a lesson in teamwork for the Warwick Road side.  From the home of chemicals, the visitors used the initials of their main local employer, ICI, to good effect.  Initiative, Craft & Industry were their watchwords and it was clear in the opening exchanges that they were going to be no pushover.

It was evident from the outset that their backs would have to be starved of the ball if any chance of success was to materialise.  The opening pressure in the game came from Billingham and Carlisle, fortunately, were on their mettle as their defence was tested close to the line on several occasions.


Gradually, Carlisle got into some sort of stride and worked their way upfield and there were some indications that a breakthrough might be on the cards.  The city side plugged away and probably just edged the first half, although a try rarely looked likely.  Despite several forays upfield the Billingham defence held firm in the main and they frustrated the Carlisle attack to good effect.  Indiscretion was the catalyst that gave Carlisle some hope with fly half Glen Weightman – after missing an early penalty opportunity –  booted Carlisle into a half time lead with five penalties for a variety of indiscretions by the visitors.  Billingham reduced the arrears five minutes before the break with a converted try.


After the break, Carlisle having just had  edcge in the opening period seemed to retract into a shell and allowed the guests to control the flow of the game.  Their slick handling and passing, especially in the backs, gave Carlisle a headache that they seemed unable to counter, being carved open with three more tries, two of which were converted.

Early days yet, but some obvious frailties will need some attention sooner rather than later.  But, all that said there were a number of good individual displays.

PDF Carlisle V Billingham 13/09/08