Crusaders 27 v Darlington MP 31

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Saturday, 5th September 2009

Both sides started well with plenty of possession, attacking the defensive lines of the opposition and with both defending resolutely.
The deadlock was broken by Carlisle after quarter of an hour when Jack Tranter was first to react to a dropped ball by DMP, fly hacking through and then chasing his kick; a further kick through prior to falling on the ball, had left the defence behind.  But, when looking for support Jack found lock, Kersop, and he ran in for the opening unconverted try.

The home side then leaked two tries quite quickly as the DMP pack battered the Carlisle line,  The home side then had a lengthy period of possession and camped on the DMP line.  Calum McSkeane took a short ball off the shoulder of Paddy McDonnell to break two tackles and score under the posts. Kersop converted.



At half time the the score of Crusaders 12 DMP 19 pts was a fair reflection of the game.

The second half was similar to the first with the only ever a few points separtating the teams and when it finished ad 31 pts to 27 pts in favour of the guests it was a fair result, although Carlisle know it was a game they could, and should have won!
A further try by Kersop and one by man of the match Tom Lewis brought the score close.

Carlisle had an impressive looking back line but suffered from the lack of quick ball when going forward to put them in a



competent attacking position.  The Crusaders need to learn from this, hit rucks with more thought and aggression, creating momentum, getting the oipposition onto the back foot and then move the ball wide, quickyly affording McDonnell and Clark some space to work.

Joe Harrington at prop had an excvellent game, strongly suppoirted by Stu and Gary Graham and Callum Gray.  A notable solid performance by Kersop, Simon Little and “Percyville” highlighted that the future of the club still needs to benefit from the experience of senior players.  The side was made up of youngsters, Gary Graham (17) (who put up an excellent show).  Others like skipper John Bowman, Callum Gray, Jack Tranter, all in their early twenties; but the backbone of the performance came from the senior players setting the platform for the youngters to benefit from.



Star man  –  Tom Lewis

Crusaders XV

15    James Armiger
14    Callum McSkeane
13    James Clark
12    Paddy McDonnel
11    Jack Tranter
10    Simon Little
9      Arron Murray
1      Joe Harrington
2      John Bowman
3      Scott Squire
4      Chris Kersop
5      Tom Lewis
6      Callum Gray
7      Stu Graham
8      Richard Percival
16    Jay Ritson
17    Chris Fairclough
18    Ian Watson
19    Gary Graham