COUGARS 52 – DARLINGTON 10

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11TH OCTOBER 2009

Carlisle Cougars maintained top place in the Championship 2 North after playing their second league fixture of the season on Sunday against Darlington at their Warwick Road ground.

Following on from their success of last week, the Cougars were eager to keep Carlisle a fortress and attacked from the very first.  After a massive  tackle from the kick off, captain and coach’s player, Lucy Meadley, forged over the line twice for the first try of the match; her first touch down having been disallowed by the referee.

Keeping on the pressure, the Cougars competed well at the rucks against a much bigger pack, winning turnover ball and spreading the ball wide.  Winger Steph Musgrave got the ball in hand and sprinted from the halfway to score the Cougars second.  Darlington stepped up a gear but the Cougars defended well, finally winning a penalty for hands in the ruck. Quick thinking and quicker running from scrum half Phil Bell made it 15 – 0 at half time.

From the restart Darlington were fired up and capitalised on lazy defence, scoring two trys in quick succession.  The Cougars regrouped and strong running from Meadley saw her over for her second try.  This settled nerves and the Cougars stuck to the game plan, wearing the opposition down at the breakdown and sending the ball wide.

Heads up rugby saw fly half Lisa Richie run in two trys, one of which she went on to convert.  Darlington’s fitness started to wane as the Cougars capitalised on a sturdy platform.  Another try from Bell was followed by trys from Laura Cunningham and Sarah Gardener (player’s player).

Sam Meakin came on, settling the scrum and winning ball against the head. No. 8 Cunningham picked up and the ball was powered forward by Meakin.  Good support play by flanker Ruth Watt saw her there to pick up the pass and run over for the last try of the match.  Coach Jonny Taylor said:  “This was one of the best performances I have seen by the Cougars.”

The Cougars would like to thank match sponsors New Dimensions and Mellado Inc for their support on Sunday. The Cougars next home game is on 8th November at the Warwick Road ground 2.30 kick off.