Billingham 48 v Carlisle 3

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Saturday, 12th September 2009
North 1 East League

The scoreline indicates a heavy defeat, well it was numerically, but the numbers don’t necessarily tell the true story of this topsy turvy outing in the north east!

Billingham will present a serious challenge for any side in the league, but only in as much as they have a fraternal pairing in the centre of Chris and Andy Hyndman, with the former have considerable experience in the Premiership with Northampton.  He menaced Carlisle at the end of last season, but has shed a few pounds he is much sharper this time around!

Four minutes into added time in the opening period, Carlisle were only trailing by a couple of points at 5 pts to 3 pts (penalty from fly half George Graham).  The visiting pack pushed their hosts all over the park and had ample possession but were unable to convert their forward dominance into much needed points.

The clear difference between the two teams was the ability of the Billingham backs to menace the Carlisle defence going forward and they always looked dangerous; although the Carlisle defence coped relatively well for much of the time.

Much of the battle took place mid-field, but in the closing ten minutes of the first half, the city side put consistent heavy pressure on the home line but were unable to make a breakthrough.  Well into added time, they looked as though they were about to score out wide on the right, when a Billingham player intercepted a careless pass and made his way upfield to touch down beneath the posts; and with the conversion stretched their advantage at the break to 9 pts.

Probably, that try was the turning point in the game!  It seemed as though a few heads had dropped, and during the early part of the second period the Warwick Road outfit were punished for standing back off their opponents, sloppy tackling, and not a little naiveity.

Billingham added six tries. three of them converted, before Carlisle realised that, putting their minds to the task, the skill and ability was there to cause the north east side some problems, with the last eight or nine minutes spent in the home twenty two area.

Carlisle seem to make a habit of slow starts to a season  –  and this year has been no exception.  However, there is too much talent about to be anything other than optimistic about the future.

Billingham voted the Carlisle prop and skipper, Steve Stamper as the visiting man of the match.  But, rookie wingman, Martin Brodie did enough to merit “star man” of the day.

1st XV

15    Chris Harris (James Armiger)
14    Martin Brodie
13    Dan Holmes
12    Ross Olney (Chris Harris)
11    Kieron Little
10    George GRaham
9      Ben Blain
1      Steve Stamper (Captain)
2      Tom Graham
3      Martin McGimpsey
4      Aidan Day
5      Martin Grealish
6      Mark Allan (Gareth Wylie)
7      Bobby Sherlock
8      Mark Barron (Gary Graham)
16    Gary Graham
17    Gareth Wylie
18    James Armiger

Next week Carlisle entertain newly promoted Old Brodlieans from Halifax – 3.00 pm at Warwick Road.