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Neither team had played competitively for about six weeks, thanks to the recent cold spell….so some initial rustiness was only to be expected.
Wigton came with a point to prove after the reverse fixture in November, and started strongly……camping in the Carlisle half for the first five minutes.
Carlisle finally broke out, and the positions were reversed, with Carlisle occupying the visitors 22 for a series of scrums. Wigton knuckled down however and absorbed everything thrown at them.
After 15 minutes, Wigton’s number 8 was yellow carded for an infringement at a ruck.
Two minutes later, Carlisle’s backs finally got some ball that they could use, and Jamie Harrison powered over under the posts for the opening try. Mike Fearon converted.
Just after the restart, Carlisle won a scrum against the head, quick thinking from Alex Clark at number 8 released the backs again, and good handling allowed Jamie Harrison to run in a second try under the posts. Mike Fearon again obliged with the kick.
A spell of pressure from the visitors then saw Carlisle pinned back deep in their own half, this was relieved by a huge punt from Fearon with good chasing by Alex Clark and Alex Taylor. A scrum ensued, and again quick thinking by number 8 Clark, unleashed Mike Fearon who sprinted 40m to score under the posts, allowing himself another easy conversion.
Just before half time, Jamie Harrison completed his hat trick with another powerful run on the left wing to score in the corner.
Half time Carlisle…..26 0…..Wigton
The second half saw some personnel changes for Carlisle, and James Ord lost no time in getting into the action, making good yards down the left.
The ball was recycled and moved quickly along the line…..when it reached Jack Stephenson, he entertained the crowd with some juggling on the run, before passing to Jordie Clement who scored under the posts, allowing Mike Fearon another easy conversion.
Six minutes into the half Jamie Harrison made another powerful run, recycled to Dom McGrath, who released Alex Clark to score in the corner.
Wigton however, never gave up, and a few minutes later, good forward pressure was rewarded when recycled ball was met by their winger at speed and on a good line, for an unstoppable try.
The remaining quarter of the game was dominated by Carlisle, with further tries from Alex Clark, Jack Stephenson and Alex Taylor completing the scoring, Mike Fearon converting all three.
Final score……….Carlisle 59 – 5 Wigton
Man of the match…………Jamie Harrison