Carlisle 20 v Sandal 30

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Saturday, 5th September 2009

SANDAL WEAR THE “SOUL” UT OF CITY SIDE

Opening the North 1 East campaign at home to the Wakefield side, Carlisle were hoping to open their league account with a flourish.  In the opening half, it looked as though they were going to succeed.

As was the case on a number of occasions last season, changes to the original XV selection were needed, something that could have been done without.  Nevertheless, Carlisle started with purpose, and rather than just keep their guests at bay, they kept them on the defensive for most of the opening half with some purposeful approach work, with the Carlisle pack dominant against their bigger opponents.  Indeed, such was the intent of the Warwick Road side, it took Sandal seventeen minutes to find a way through to the Carlisle “twenty two” area.  The home defence held though, and the most Sandal could muster was a penalty in response to the seven points Carlisle then had on the scoreboard.

The Carlisle pack worked hard to get possession for their backs and it looked likely after a few promising attacks that the breakthrough would come, as it did in the ninth minute when centre Chris Harris chased a tap through and touched down in the scramble, giving Glen Weightman an easy conversion.

Chris HARRIS - opening try for Carlisle v Sandal

Chris HARRIS - opening try for Carlisle v Sandal

Carlisle kept up the pressure and Sandal were giving away penalties but unfortunately, whilst Weightman put in two accurate kicks from the half way line, the first dropped in field off the cross bar, whilst the second, came back in off the top of the outside post!

Glen WEIGHTMAN - unfortunate with two early penalty attempts.

Glen WEIGHTMAN - unfortunate with two early penalty attempts.

On the quarter hour mark as the home side were pressing again, debutant centre, Lee Askew had to leave the field for treatment to a nasty facial cut, causing some disruption, with a Sandal flanker walking to the bin!

Scrum half Ben BLAIN gets some quick ball away

Scrum half Ben BLAIN gets some quick ball away

A brief foray into home territory got the visitors three points from a penalty in front of the posts.

Carlisle resumed the initiative and with the pack supplying ample ball, and after several promising moves, Harris found a way through a gap in the Sandal defence and offloaded the ball inside to full back George Graham who had come up in support, and he touched down for the points with Weightman again adding the extras.

Sandal missed an opportunity to reduce the arrears with a penalty attenpt from their fly half going wide but with the break looming, their number eight gave them some hope with a try.

Lock Martin Grearlish dominates the lineout

Lock Martin Grearlish dominates the lineout

A six point advantage at this stage, whilst welcome, was never going to be enough and had Weightman managed to convert his four penalty attempts there would have been a little more breathing space.

Within minutes of the restart, young Weightman increased his tally with another penalty, only to see his efforts negated when Sandal signalled that they were not going to give in easily, when they touched down for an unconverted  try.

On the hour Weightman landed another penalty to mark the board at 20 pts to 13.  Sandal by now were creeping well into the game and inexplicably the home defence started to leak, with missed tackles and a touch of weariness creeping in, and this was to be their downfall, as they conceded tow converted tries and penalty.

Hooker Tom GRAHAM puts in at a line out.

Hooker Tom GRAHAM puts in at a line out.

Disappointed probably, but not downcast, although the Warwick Road side will have to up the “ante” if they are to make meaningful progress.

Star man for Carlisle;  George Graham (full back).



Team:

15    George Graham
14    Dan Holmes
13    Chris Harris
12    Lee Askew
11    Kieron Little
10    Glen Weightman
9      Ben Blain
1      Steve Stamper (Capt)
2      Tom Graham
3      Martin McGimpsey
4      Aidan Day
5      Martin Grealish
6      Matt Davis
7      Mark Allan
8      Mark Barron
16    Dan Smithson
17    Stuart Graham
18    Matt Rogers

Referee:    Alistair Jones (Cumbria Society)Carlisle