Abysmal Carlisle Drift

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Saturday, 3rd October 2009  – North 1 East League

Least said, easiest mended springs to mind!  Given the two previous and relatively comfortable victories in the league, it seems as though the Carlisle team had assumed that two swallows make a summer!  How wrong were they?  A visit to deepest east Yorkshire resulted in what was an unmitigated disaster.

Aidan Day restored to lock forward for this game had to pull out with swine flu;  perhaps with hindsight, there are a few more of the Carlisle squad who wish they had caught the virus, as it would have been less painful than the one that swept through the team at The Showground.

Never in the history of league rugby have Carlisle been so humiliated.  Why, will probably never be known.  They went into the match on the back of two comfortable victories and ought to have put more into the game than was obvious on the day.

Not to take anything away from the Driffield side, but they were nothing out of the ordinary, and that is what makes the outcome all the more lamentable from the Carlisle point of view.

No one at Carlisle can remember such a drubbing and the hope is that it was just an off day and not a sign of what the future holds!  There are too many good players in the squad, but how unusual that they should all have an off day together!

The bad news story started to build in the first minute, when the hosts took possession after some careless handling and tackling just inside their own half, allowed their right wing the freedom of the park; he went virtually unchallenged to touch down for a converted try at the posts.

Fly half Glen Weightman had the opportunity of a penalty that went astray a couple of minutes later but slipped a couple over on 11 and 15 minutes, before Driffield increased their grip on proceedings with two more converted tries.

Centre Chris Harris took a knock and was replaced by Paddy McDonnell on 25 minutes, and that took out of the main Carlisle attacking thrusts.  Within minutes Driffield notched up their fourth try that was unimproved. before Weightman added a converted try to go into the break thjirteen points in arrears.

The coaching staff made some changes during the break to try and add some punch to the Carlisle effort.  In the end though, it was only cosmetic.  Glen Weightman (arm injury) came off as did flanker Matt Davis to be be replaced by Mark Allan.  Inside centre George Graham moved to partner Ben Blain in the half backs, with Ross Olney taking Graham’s place.

Not a lot changed though.  Carlisle were sterile –  they were poor in the loose with feeble tackling attempts and too much careless passing.  Eventually heads seemed to droop  – to the extent that their defence leaked nine tries of which only three were unimproved.  In the midst of the mayhem,. Ross Olney contributed to the visiting cause with their only points of the half with an unconverted try.

Summed up  – a poor display which, if repeated too often, will result in the quick of a team that hs been making gradual and steady progress using home spun talent.  Surely, it can never be as bad again!

Star man –  give it a miss!

Scorers for Carlisle:


Glen Weightman (1)
Ross Olney (1)


Glen Weightman (1)


Glen Weightman (2)

Starting team:

15    Max Connon
14    Dan Holmes
13    Chris Harris (Paddy McDonnell)
12    George Graham (Ross Olney)
11    Barry Earl
10    Glen Weightman (George Graham)
9      Ben Blain
1      Steve Stamper (Captain)
2      Tom Graham
3      Martin McGimpsey
4      Dan Smithson
5      Martin Grealish
6      Matt David (Mark Allan)
7      Bobby Sherlock

16    Mark Allan
17    Paddy McDonnell
18    Ross Olney

Looking forward to nest week, Durham City at home.  They will be no push over.  In their most recent game they restricted high scoring Billingham to their lowest points in a match this season.