Shields Guards Victory For Carlisle

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Ilkley 17 v Carlisle 26

Saturday, 28th February 2009

This was an entertaining encounter throughout with enough action to absorb both sets of supporters.  Despite their propping up the league, the Stacks Field outfit were no push over and if anyone expected an easy game, then they would be disappointed.  The hosts, having snatched a point at Carlisle in the opening weeks of the season, clearly felt they had a reaslistic chance of getting something from the match, and at times it looked as though they might succeed.

Weightman instigates a Carlisle move

Weightman instigates a Carlisle move

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carlisle had to make changes before the kick off  – scrum half Ben Blain had not recovered from a hand injury inflicted during training on Thursday.  Prop, Martin McGimpsey cried off on the morning due to overnight family illness.  Matt Shields, expecting to make his debut on the flank was moved up to deputise for McGimpsey, with the flank vacancy filled by Richard Bearchell.  Geirge Graham filled the scrum half berth.

Ilkley pressed hard in the opening stages and got their reward in the sixth minute. Carlisle were defending in their own twenty two area when fly half Glen Weightman attempted a clearance, only to see it charged down.  The Yorkshiremen took full advantage with right wing Simon Smith touching down to open his sides account.  Full back Pete Shanks converted.

The warning signs were there and it was obvious that careless play in defence could be punished by swift Ilkley forays.

From the restart, Carlisle moved up field seeking an early reply and within a minute, Weightman converted a simple penalty opportunity.  A spell of concerted Carlisle pressure followed and with the backs linking well, right wing Stephane Helies came across field to touch down wide on the left.  Weightman improved.

Stephane Helies - scored opening try for Carlisle

Stephane Helies - scored opening try for Carlisle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ilkley were getting frustrated and bouts of indiscipline saw them concede four penalties before the break, three of which Weightman slotted between the sticks.

Ilkley did narrow the advantage before the break but lost their number eight, Brewer, who got a yellow card for his indiscretions.

At the break Carlisle had the luxury of a seven point lead but it was obvious more work was needed to secure the league points.

Early into the second half, and with the Carlisle line under some heavy pressure, the visitors found themselves a man down with scrum half George Graham seeing yellow for throwing a punch!  Undeterred though, they battled their way upfield with acring scrum half Max Connon, prompting some inventive approach!  This was not enough though, because Ilkley managed to close the gap by converting a try.

Scrum won - George Graham prepares to shift the ball.

Scrum won - George Graham prepares to shift the ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carlisle responded with a phase of sustained attack but were frustrated in their attempts to cross the line.  Centre Ross Olney was impeded in a scramble in the left hand corner as he was about to touch down.  Full back Shanks got a yellow card for his trouble.  Even the home side and supporters were bemuised at the the failure of the referee to award the penalty try.

Now in the final quarter, both sides probed away, Ilkley to try and save the day, whilst Carlisle sought to widen the two point advantage.

Bobby Sherlock, unsung hero of the side, collects more line out ball.

Bobby Sherlock, unsung hero of the side, collects more line out ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eighty minutes gone and a kickable penalty that would have given Ilkley the match, came back off the post.  A resultant scramble in the twenty two area saw debutant prop, Matt Shields, gather the ball up and set off on a devasting run upfield at a rate that completely perplexed the home rearguard (and his own team mates who looked on in admiration), as no one could get near him and he touched down in the right hand corner, letting Weightman add the conversion.  All in the ground agreed it was one of the best tries ever witnessed.

Matt Shields - an audacious try to secure the match for Carlisle.

Matt Shields - an audacious try to secure the match for Carlisle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The starting XV for Carlisle were:

15        Max Connon
14        Stephane Helies
13        Chris Harris
12        Ross Olney
11        Barry Earl
10        Glen Weightman
9          George Graham
1          Steve Stamper (captain)
2          Tom Graham
3          Matt Shields
4          Aidan Day
5          Nigel Arismandez
6          Bobby Sherlock
7          Richard Bearchell
8          Matt Charters
16        John Bowman
17        Dan Holmes
18        Jack Tranter