Pontefract 24 v Carlisle 10

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North 1 East League
Saturday, 5th December 2009

Carlisle really are going to have to tighten up their game and stop gifting the opposition an easy victory.  The match at Pontefract was there for the taking and the city side only have themselves to blame for letting this one slip from their grasp.

Flanker Bobby Sherlock contests a line out.

Flanker Bobby Sherlock contests a line out.










Overall, Carlisle were the more dominant side with ample possession and territorial advantage to have had the game sealed in their favour at the break.

Whose ball!

Whose ball!










A makeshift pack started the game.  Skipper, Steve Stamper was ill with flu as was lock Martin Grealish, who had to cry off overnight before the match.  Prop ‘Biff’ McGimpsey, also failed to make the journey, sufferring the effects of a back problem from the previous week.  Hooker Tom Graham moved out to prop to allow John Bowman to hook; Dan Smithson took over from Stamper.  None disappointed, but Smithson had to withdraw before the break with a back problem.  In fact, Bowman had a classy game, clearly anxious to impress and eager to carry the ball upfield.

Hooker John Bowman - didn't disappoint!

Hooker John Bowman - didn't disappoint!












Despite their early probing, Carlisle conceded a penalty on eight minutes but drew level within a couple minutes with acting captain, Glen Weightman slotting over.  They were the only points of the opening half, but Carlisle did enough to justify a lead, and the Liquorice Men could have had no complaints if they had turned round in arrears at the break.  It turned out though, that Carlisle were too benevolent and let the hosts in for a converted try just as the interval was dawning.

The worry for Carlisle has to be, spending a lot of time in the opposition twenty two area.  but failing to convert their superiority into points.  Being apparently nervous in their final approach work, they will have to learn to settle down, be less anxious, and more precise with the final pass!

More action from Pontefract.

More action from Pontefract.










After the break, there was still enough effort to suggest that they could claim the points, but again the story was much the same.  Pontefract had rare sorties into the Carlisle area, but on two occasions they made Carlisle pay with improved tries on sixty seven and seventy five minutes.  By now Carlisle had a mountain to climb with little time left in which to do it.

Just into added time, full back Max Connon, linked well with the backs and touched down at the posts for Weightman to convert.  Game up!

It could have been oh so different though – what with missed chances and three disallowed Carlisle tries by a referee who seemed more concerned with his own performance than the needs of the game!  No excuses though – Carlisle need only blame themselves for this needless defeat.

So near, yet so far!

So near, yet so far!








Best of the backs: Full back Max Connon and inside centre Dan Holmes (who nows starts a two week suspension after his recent dismissal at Old Crossleyans).

Screen shot 2009-12-07 at 08.44.22









Pick of the pack:  Adam Morrison who had an outstanding game at eight and hooker John Bowman.

Points scorers:

Tries:    Max Connon (1)

Cons:    Glen Weightman (1)

Pens:    Glen Weightman (1)

Starting XV:

15    Max Connon
14    Lee Askew (Barry Earl)
13    Chris Harris)
12    Dan Holmes
11    Ben Blain
10    Glen Weightman (C)
9      George Graham
1      Dan Smithson (Joe Anderson)
2      John Bowman
3      Tom Graham
4      Adam Morrison
5      Mark Barron
6      Adam Morrison
7      Bobby Sherlock
8      Lee Brumpton (Stuart Graham)
16    Joe Anderson
17    Stuart Graham
18    Barry Earl