West Hartlepool 56 v Carlisle 5

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CANDY LEAGUE – Saturday, 31st October 2009

After a great team performance the week before, the Crusaders were unfortunate to be depleted in numbers due to several injuries.

John Bowman was aware of the task ahead and so was the rest of the team. West Hartlepool were a well drilled, fast and powerful outfit , and this showed in  the early stages of the game.

Carlisle matched where they could, but unfortunately The Monkey hangers scored a penalty and converted try in quick succession.

This seemed to gift Hartlepool some confidence – and they began to play with real flair which the Crusaders, despite the best efforts, could not defend. 

However, like many of the games this season – in the second half the Crusaders looked threatening, and strong runs from the likes of Tranter and Watson – gave Carlisle positive positions on the park.

It’s fair to say that in the second half, Carlisle played the most rugby! 

Simon Little gave the Crusaders what they were working for mid way through the half, after persistent pressure in the West Hartlepool half –  Luke Graham spun wide to Little who sold his opposite number a glorious dummy and sailed through the gap for the try.

Unfortunately – perhaps too little too late from the Warwick road men as West Hartlepool ran out comfortable winners. 

But with more men returning from the Physio’s room next week – Richard Liddle will be having a selection head ache as the boys look to get back to winning ways against Morpeth.

Man of the match went to Jack Tranter this week, who was aggressive in defence and creative in attack, other strong performances came from Matt Davis, Ian Watson and Luke Graham.