Carlisle 19 v Durham City 14

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Saturday, 6th Decmber 2008

This was must win game for Carlisle to keep their recent revival afloat.  Having missed the last two weeks because of weather problems involving other teams, and rearranged cup games, the lads were eager to get on the field.

Durham City were one of the better sides in the league last season, and the only surprise was that they they didn’t manage promotion.  What a difference a season makes!  This time round, they have managed only one win all season, and that away from home at Driffield.

Despite the hoary weather, the match at Warwick Road was never in doubt, although there was a suspicion that the visitor’s would have preferrred a postponement.  With eight changes to their orginally selected team, Durham took to the field in the hope that they could build on their win in East Yorkshire a couple of weeks earlier.

In the opening fifteen minutes Carlisle looked as though they would be a hard nut to crack. The pack kept their guests on the back foot, but despite this dominance, the surprise was that there were no touch downs.  In fact, it was the north east oufit who edged ahead after 18 minutes with a penalty after the Carlisle outside half had fluffed a couple of similar opportunities.

Line out action with hooker, Tom Graham

Line out action with hooker, Tom Graham










Carlisle plugged away, but their pack was not such an effective unit as it had been in recent matches, although there were several good individual performances.  Although generally in command of a somewhat scrappy game, Carlisle had to be on their mettle, as Durham always looked menacing when had their occasional forays into home territory.

Words of wisdom from referee Brian Mitchehill!

Words of wisdom from referee Brian Mitchehill!










Weightman drew the sides to an even keel on 20 minutes with a penalty and six minutes later helped himself to another.

Ross Olney, making his first start of the season in the centre, had a promising game and was effective going forward and the visiting defence found him hard to contain.

Just before the break, Durham made a sustained assault on the Carlisle line and although the defence held out, Durham were awarded a penalty after some “handbagging” which saw pivot Lee Brumpton sent to the “bin” for ten minutes.  Durham fly half, Arnie Stevenson slotted over his second penalty and the teams went into the break with the spoils even at that stage.

Scrum half Ben Blain waits for the scrum to set!

Scrum half Ben Blain waits for the scrum to set!










After the restart, it was Durham who took the initiative and kept Carlisle penned back for a while.  Stevenson added a penalty and on 48 minutes, their left wing, James Walker, allegedly touched down wide on the left.  A scramble down the flank between Walker and his opposite number George Graham, saw the ball hacked forward to the in goal area. Whilst the referee decided that Walker had touched down, everyone else, including some Durham followers, were certain that it was Graham who was first to the ball!  Injustice perhaps, but it was too wide for the conversion bonus.

Undeterred, Carlisle resumed and regained the initiative, going upfield.  There was a scramble in the right hand corner, and George Graham was apparently about to touch down, when he unfairly impeded, and the referee, Brian Mitchelhill, didn’t hesitate to award a penalty try.  Weightman converted.

At this point Carlisle took Matt Rogers off the left wing and replaced him with Dan Holmes, making his first team debut   The city side were trailing by 13 pts to 14 pts and were in no mood to let the outcome be anything other than a favourable result, and whilst there were some tense moments, the Warwick Road XV, were generally in command.   Carlisle were clearly fitter than the Durham chaps and were able to wear them down, but for some inexplicable reason, were not able to convert this dominance into points.

Young Weightman added another couple of penalties to make the game safe and puch Carlisle up one league position.

Glen Weightman  -  slotted 14 of the 19 Carlisle

Glen Weightman - slotted 14 of the 19 Carlisle







The result sets up an exciting encounter for the Saturday before Christmas when Aspatria are the visitors.  A recce of previous league records suggests that the surrent league table sees Aspatria below Carlisle for the first time ever since the leagues were introduced. Perhaps Warwick Road will not be a place for the faint hearted that day!

More action from Warwick Road v Durham City

More action from Warwick Road v Durham City