Carlisle 37 v Darlington 15

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The Warwick Road side continued to build on the previous weeks success over Old Brodleians, with the comprehensive dispatch of Darlington to their second defeat in two weeks.

Darlington used be to the annual opening fixture for Carlisle prior to the onset of league rugby, and whilst it pleasant to renew some old acquaintances, sentiment was left in the clubhouse during the match whilst Carlisle went about, for the most part, a competent demolition of their visitors.  Except for a fifteen minute spell after the break when the north east side exerted more than a little pressure, Carlisle were in little danger and were good value for their ultimate victory – a win that lifted them from bottom of the pile to fifth in the league in a little over of the week.  Not to be complacent though, there is still a lot of work to do, but there are clear signs of improvement after the slow start to the campaign.

Carlisle pack put the Darlington line under stress

Carlisle pack put the Darlington line under stress

Having started the reduction of the their poor points differential last week, Carlisle succeeded in further reducing the arrears to just minus 2 with Saturday’s victory.

Carlisle opened their scoring spree when, after three minutes, fly half Glen Weightman landed an easy penalty awarded for an offside infringement.    Wingman Dan Holmes scored a fine try out wide in the ninth minute and although Weightman couldn’t manage the wide conversion, he took a further three points when Carlisle were awarded a penalty when the visitors were adjudged to be “crossing”.

Whether a touch of complacency crept into the home side is a matter of opinion, but they allowed their visitors back into the game when some loose defence allowed Darlington a couple of tries in the right hand corner.  Luckily for Carlisle both conversions went astray.  With the warning signs there, Carlisle re-galvanised themselves and in the closing five minutes of the half, full back Max Connon and outside centre Chris Harris grabbed themselves a fine try apiece and Weightman slotted both conversions to give his side what looked to be an unassailable 25 pts to 10 pts lead at half time.

Chris Harris - two tries, one in each half.

Chris Harris - two tries, one in each half.







Full back Max Connon completed a competent performance with a fine try before the break.

Full back Max Connon completed a competent performance with a fine try before the break.








After the break it looked as though it was Darlington who had benefitted from the rest;  they really came into the game and put Carlisle under concerted pressure for a lengthy spell during which they added a third unconverted try, but not before the Carlisle flanker, Bobby Sherlock, had been sin binned.

On the hour Carlisle had to take Weightman off with an arm injury and as consequence the backs had to be reorganised; Ross Olney came into the centre with George Graham moving to fly half.  The city side were kept under pressure in their own twenty two area for a few more minutes.  Darlington were frustrated in more ways than one, with Graham becom ing the focus of their attention, but unfortunately for him, it was he who sufferred when he who was binned after a bit of a melee.

Now down a man, Carlisle clearly realised that they had to redouble their efforts to regain the territorial initiative.  Gradually, they worked their way upfield and Harris claimed a fine individual try between the post  –  Connon converted.

With four minutes remaining, Dan Smithson came off the bench to replace Gareth Wylie (who had a solid game in the second row) and with probably his first touch of the ball, went over for the final try to close the game at 37 pts to 12 pts.

STAR MAN:  Chris Harris (above).

Starting line up:

15    Max Connon
14    Dan Holmes
13    Chris Harris
12    George Graham (Ross Olney)
11    Barry Earl
10    Glen Weightman (George Graham)
9      Ben Blain
1      Steve Stamper
2      Tom Graham
3      Martin McGimpsey
4      Gareth Wylie (Dan Smithson)
5      Martin Grealish
6      Gary Graham (Matt Davis)
7      Bobby Sherlock
8      Mark Barron
16    Matt Davis
17    Dan Smithson
18    Ross Olney

North 1 East League
Saturday, 26th September 2009

MORE PICS FROM THE MATCH:

A Glen Weightman conversion kick.

A Glen Weightman conversion kick.









Bobby Sherlock challenges in the line out.

Bobby Sherlock challenges in the line out.









Carlisle scrum dominance.

Carlisle scrum dominance.