Carlisle 6 v Billingham 35

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North 1 East League
Saturday, 12th December 2009

It might have been a pleasant and crisp afternoon at Warwick Road, but the quality of the rugby served up by Carlisle was pretty dull and unimaginative.  Carlisle never really looked like giving themselves an early present of vitally needed league points against the leagues’s leading scorers.

The home side opened relatively brightly and fly half Glen Weightman landed a penalty for an offside offence in the opening minute of the game.

Weightman - an early penalty.

Weightman - an early penalty.

In the set pieces, the Carlisle pack were able to dominate and get an ample supply of the ball, but as has too often been the case in recent weeks, the lack of a sharp cutting edge on the final approach let them down time and again.

Billingham gradually worked their way into the game and opened their account with a penalty on thirteen minutes, quickly followed by a converted try a couple of minutes later.  Another penalty took it to thirteen points to six at the break after Weightman got his second kick.

Just before the break the city side were down to fourteen men when pivot Mark Barron, earned himself a place in the sin bin.

Carlisle take a line out.

Carlisle take a line out.

Within quarter of an hour of the restart, Billingham stunned their hosts with three tries, one of them converted.

Carlisle had one or two attacking spells but the visitors managed to keep their line intact.

Billingham sealed the game on seventy five minutes with their final try.

As a conseuqence of this performance, and wins by teams below them, Carlisle now find themselvers in the third relegation place in the league.  The league is still a tight one, and there is ample time to redeem the situation, but the lads really are going to have to put their game together.

Pick of the pack:

Mark Barron

Mark Barron

Best of the backs:

Ben Blain - great interception try.

Ben Blain - great interception try.

The starting XV:

15    Max Connon
14    Barry Earlk
13    Chris Harris
12    Ross Olney (Lee Askew)
11    Lee Askew (Jack Oddie)
10    Glen Weightman
9      Ben Blain
1      Steve Stamper C
2      Tom Graham (John Bowman)
3      Mart McGimpsey
4      Martin Grealish
5      Dan Smithson
6      Adam Morrison (Stuart Graham)
7      Bobby Sherlock
8      Mark Barron
16    John Bowman
17    Stuart Graham
18    Jack Oddie