Wigton Challenge Snuffed Out

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Saturday, 25th April 2009

The scoreboard at Lowmoor Road rarely displays emphatic defeat for the home side. This eagerly awaited clash between Wigton and Carlisle in the Cumbria Cup semi-final perhaps did not reach the expectations off many, particularly the “Greens” supporters, who had hoped for more from their heroes!

The scores say it all

The scores say it all


Gradually rebuilding their team and after challenging for promotion through the play offs for much of the season, Wigton offerred only limited resistance to a Carisle team that has gradually been refashioned over the season with the introduction of several youngsters emerging from the club development programme.

Wigton, with a long and illustrious cup history tried to make a game of it in the first half and managed to limit the damage to 10 pts to 3 pts at the break, althougth their only real threat looked like coming from their line out domination, and Tane Manihera kicked incessantly for the left hand corner in the hope that his forwards could breach the Carlisle defence from ensuing line outs.  It was all in vain though, because the visiting defence held firm, clearly determined that it was to be their day!

The reality was Wigton never looked likely to score a try.

With the Carlisle pack dominating proceedings, securing ample ball for the half back pairing of George Graham and Glen Weightman to feed a threequarter line that was always looked menacing.  Centres, veteran Liam Nicholls and young Chris Harris as well as being solid in dealing with the occasional Wigton adventure, got their wingmen down their lines regularly.

Carlisle opened their account with a wide penalty in the opening minute from Weightman, but had to wait until the midway point of the half for their first try when 17 year old Kieron Little waltzed down the left for a touchdown, with Weightman getting the conversion points,

Satisifed - 17 year old Kieron Little followed up his try against Aspatria

Satisifed - 17 year old Kieron Little followed up his try against Aspatria in the quarter final with another fine effort at Wigton











Wigton managed a three point penalty just before the break from Manihera.

After the break, Carlisle really turned up the power with a good display of attacking rugby, causing the home defence all sorts of problems. Weightman increased his tally with a penalty shortly after the kick off.   The pack worked tirelessly for possession, although within three minutes of the restart they lost pivot Lee Brumpton with an ankle injury.  The resulting reshuffle of the pack was did little to give Wigton any glimmer of hope!  Martin Grealish came off the bench to partner Aidan Day in the second row; Gareth Wylie moved to the open side flank, allowing Matt Charters to fill the void left by Brumpton’s departure.

Settling down to the new formation, Carlisle continued to worry the Lowmoor Road outfit, and any domination they may have had in the line outs was neutered with the arrival of Grealish who was disruptive.

Wigton win line out ball.

Wigton win line out ball.


At forty seven minutes fly half Weightman was adding another three points from a penalty and from then on it was a display of flowing rugby from the Carlisle back division that Wigton were unable to counter.


Central midfield was the setting with outside centre, Chris Harris offloading the ball to right winder, Ben Blain who left the defence in  his wake to touch down for a Weightman conversion.

Midway through the half it was Blain again who intercepted well in his own half during a rare Wigton attack, and raced upfield for his second try of the match but Weightman missed his only kick of the game.

Ben Blain - grabbed a brace of fine tries.

Ben Blain - grabbed a brace of fine tries.










Scrum half George Graham took a knock and left the field as precaution, with Carlisle confident that they had the tools on the bench to continue the job.  Blain moved to scrum half with Dan Holmes coming on to join the fray.

Again, the changes had little effect on the efficiency of the Carlisle game and within minutes, Harris forced his way through the defence for a touch down.  Weightman converted.

Carlisle were confident that the game was in the bag and then brought on all their remaining replacement from the 22 man squad.

Scrum half George Graham  -  too quick for his Wigton

Scrum half George Graham - too quick for his Wigton counterpart










A satisfactory performance by Carlisle that will give them a lot of heart going into the final at Aspatria on Wednesday night, although they realise that Penrith will pose a different challenge.  With each side winning their home game in North 2 East League, both sides will be eager for the bonus result!

A great team effort from the whole squad made  it hard to opt for the star man, but centre Chris Harris took the honour.


Chris Harris

Chris Harris









Matt Charters

Matt Charters








Max Connon

Max Connon








along with Ben Blain (picture in body of report).


15        Max Connon (James Armiger)
14        Ben Blain (Dan Holmes)
13        Chris Harris
12        Liam Nicholls (Ross Olney)
11        Kieron Little
10        Glen Weightman
9          George Graham (Ben Blain)
1          Steve Stamper (Captain) (John Warwick)
2          Tom Graham
3          Martin McGimpsey
4          Aidan Day
5          Gareth Wylie (Martin Grealish)
6          Bobby Sherlock
7          Matt Charters (Gareth Wylie)
8          Lee Brumpton (Matt Charters) (Matt Davis)
16        John Warwick
17        Martin Grealish
18        Matt Davis
19        Dan Holmes
20        Ross Olney
21        James Armiger