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Saturday 30 October 2009
Alnwick Colts 33, Carlisle Colts 7
This was to be Carlisle’s third visit to the North East, which is already proving to be a difficult hunting ground for the team during this early part of the season. Unfortunately for the Colts, today was not to be theirs as they came up against a powerful well-drilled Alnwick fifteen. Certainly the first twenty minutes saw Alnwick dominate the game which was reflected in the score, Carlisle play was being broken down with little territorial gain during this period: four minutes into the game and Alnwick were set to put the first points on the board, and though it looked like Carlisle had survived this with the ball dropping short of the posts an untypical defensive error let Alnwick regain the ball and cross the line, it was not long after when Alnwick ran in a second converted try, again from a Carlisle error.
Following this period Carlisle did start to put some play together, and spent much of the remainder of the first half applying some pressure and testing the Alnwick defence, against the run of play Alnwick put another score on the board making it 19 – 0. Carlisle did reply quickly with an impressive piece of play from the centre of the park. A number 8 pick up was well supported by the scrum half and the inside centre Matthew Minnett who this time broke the Alnwick tackles a pass to Carl Robertson who used good strength to cross the line. At this point the last thing Carlisle needed was the half-time whistle. A little more time with the momentum may have seen another Carlisle score?
The start of the second half Alnwick came out well and another try was scored; if it had not slipped from Carlisle hands it was starting too, another five minutes and the final score was on the board following a defensive error on the blind side. Carlisle did have a good deal of the ball but could not cross the line as the remainder of the match was played out. It is difficult to say where Carlisle went wrong, both the scrum and the line out were working well, open play at times was naïve both in support and defence and Alnwick took full advantage of this deserving the win; there were other factors that had a negative effect on the game for both teams but all in all the final result was a fair reflection of the match played.
Many thanks to the Alnwick team and staff for their hospitality and comments after the game, the Colt’s play again next week at home against Morpeth, Saturday 7th November.