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North 1 East
Saturday, 27th February 2010
The improvement in Carlisle form continued on the edge of Bronte country, and at a ground where, according to a 91 retired doctor who was at the game, and used to play for Old Brodleians, home matches used to be controlled by a referee on horse back! The headmaster of the local grammar school used to insist on officiating at all home games, and always in the saddle!
A wonderful story perhaps, but despite the obvious illustrious history of their hosts, Carlisle showed little sentiment for their hosts and set about a meaningful performance to further enhance their own Level 6 survival chances. Having arrived at the ground, it was not hard to see why Brods have a relatively good home record. The pitch had a slope from one side to the other with a probable drop of around 12′; Brodleians are doubtless used to this little quirk, but it was of little value to them on Saturday, as Carlisle refused to be handicapped!
Fielding an unchanged starting line up from the previous week, Carlisle set about the game with purpose and style and soon had the opposing defence on the back foot. The pack put in a sterling performance throughout, with back row in particular putting on an eye catching show. Flankers, Bobby Sherlock and Dan Smithson got through a lot of work, with Smithson now really in his stride after stepping up from Cumbria League rugby. His endeavour is enormous, and he was always hungry for the ball, picking up and driving forward with menace.
Number eight Lee Brumpton, having what must be his longest run of uninterrupted matches without injury, was always in evidence and he capped a great game with a brace of tries. Hooker, Tom Graham was always in the thick of it too, creating good advantage for his pack mates.
Carlisle got their first score after only three minutes. They were awarded a scrum about five yards out from the home line, midway between oe right post and the touch line. A hard drive gave them possession with scrum half Ben Blain shifting the ball right to his half back, and Weightman slipped over in the corner for five points but was unable to convert his effort. Ten minutes later he added a penalty.
The home side had not seen a lot of the ball until then, but then came a spell when Carlisle were under some pressure to keep the opposing pack at bay. Credit to Brods. they plugged away and managed a try (to be their only score of the day) in the right hand corner.
Brumpton got the first of his two tries on twenty four minutes and Weightman stretched the difference to ten points, and that lead held until the break.
Carlisle had to send on replacement back George Graham whilst, right wing, Olly Barker had a few stitches in a head wound after which he was able to resume.
The talking point during the break amongst the home supporters was about the quality of play Carlisle were serving up, and getting special mention were the skills of the Warwick Road scrum half, Ben Blain. He had dictated the pattern of the game throughout the first half and his influence remained obvious for the remainder of the game.
Fifteen minutes into the second half the visitors freshened the pack up a little to maintain the impetus. Tight prop, Martin Kalinowski came off, lock Martin McGimpsey moving from the second row, and with his place being taken by Paul Halliday. The changes had little effect on the solid performance of the Carlisle effort.
Old Brodleians were determined to make a game of it and Carlisle were made to work hard for their victory. They looked dangerous on the break but the solid home defence held firm for the most part. On seventy minutes, Weightman added a penalty with seventy minutes gone, Brumpton getting his second (unconverted try on eighty minutes.
A satisfying third consecutive victory for the city men, and completing their third double too. There is still a lot of work to do, but with eight games remaining, five of them at home, hopes are high for a respectable a finish. So tight is the league that Carlisle remain just six points from third placed Hartlepool Rovers.
Rovers remain third, despite losing their last three matches. the first being against Carlisle.
Carlisle have to travel to Morpeth (next Saturday), Darlington (Easter Saturday, 3rd April) and Sandal (10th April). The home sequence is 13th March (Old Crossleyans), 20th March (Percy Park), 27th March (Pontefract), 17th April (Driffield) and 24th April (Gateshead).
BEST OF THE BACKS (AND MAN OF THE MATCH): Scrum half: Ben Blain
PICK OF THE PACK: Number eight: Lee Brumpton
SCORERS FOR CARLISLE:
Tries: Glen Weightman (1) Lee Brumpton (2)
Conversions: Glen Weightman (1)
Penalties: Glen Weightman (2)
THE STARTING XV:
15 Lewis Boyd
14 Dan Holmes
13 Chris Harris
12 Barry Earl (George Graham) (Lee Brumpton)
11 Olly Barker
10 Glen Weightman
9 Ben Blain
1 Steve Stamper (captain)
2 Tom Graham
3 Martin Kalinowski (Martin McGimpsey)
4 Mark Barron
5 Martin McGimpsey (Paul Halliday)
6 Dan Smithson
7 Bobby Sherlock
8 Lee Brumpton (Gareth Wylie)
16 Gareth Lewis
17 Paul Halliday
18 George Graham