Carlisle 27 v Gateshead 28

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North 1 East League

Saturday, 24th April 2010

It really was end of season stuff, rather ragged and not too enterprising.  A bit of a disjointed effort from a side changed from the one that dealt comfortably with Driffield the week before.    That said, don’t take anything away from Gateshead, because it is difficult on this showing, especially in the second half, to understand why they have found themselves relegated.  They are a solid side, one that Carlisle found difficult to cope with at times.  That said, it’s hard to determine whether Carlisle lost the match or Gateshead just won it!

Whatever, it was clear early on that Gateshead were going to be an obstacle to a home success on a balmy spring afternoon at Warwick Road.

The city side were forced into pre-match team changes for a variety of causes, and the hard ground also took it’s toll during the course of the afternoon  –  something that whilst always unwelcome, is all the more worrying with the county cup final with Penrith coming up next Saturday.

On the bright side though there were some good individual peformances that auger well for the future.

Carlisle can certainly claim the opening half as their own, but the second spell was rather a different story, when they found themselves defending for long periods, although much of it was brought about by bouts of careless defencing, rather than the craft of the north east side.  The latter, whilst they did display one or two enterprising moves, were at times quite boring, and seemingly content to loft the ball behind Carlisle and live off the crumbs of defensive misfortune as opposed to being creative on their own account.

Carlisle opened their account as early as the second minute when Ollie Barker on the left touched down in the left hand corner after some good work by the pack, particularly flanker John Bowman, who worked tirelessly throughout.  Scrum had Ben Blain converted in the absence of regular bootman, Glen Weightman.

John Bowman  -  Pick of the Pack

John Bowman - Pick of the Pack

Within two or three minutes Gateshead had drawn level but then Carlisle managed to wrench back the advantage with pivot Gareth Wylie scrambling an unconverted try wide out on the right on nine minutes.  It was midway through the half when the nest points were added when flanker Dan Smithson added another five.  By now Carlisle were losing men.  Prop, “Biff” McGimpsey was first to be replaced when he had hamstring problems and within mnutes centre Lees Askew hobbled off with ankle damage.  Whilst Carlisle were still trying to readjust, Gateshead scored through centre David Tate, with full back Scott Cartner converting.

Carlisle pegged away and just into injury time at the break Tom Graham, always a threat when he had the ball, scored.

At the break 22 pts to 14 pts.

It was midway through the second half before the scoreboard changed with the Tynesiders adding seven points to narrow the home advantage to a solitary point.  But, before that score, Carlisle had to reshuffle the pack, when Graham Kidd, who had replaced McGimpsey, had to retire injured.

Carlisle tried again at sixty eight minutes when Olly Barker and Chris Harris combined to let Tinnion away for a score, but Blain was not having a good day with his kicking duties.  Within five minutes Gateshead snatched the lead with a converted effort and stole the league points, although they had little meaning!

SCORERS FOR CARLISLE:

Ben Blain  -  Best of the Backs

Ben Blain - Best of the BacksRS FOR CARLISLE:

TRIES:  Ollie Barker (1)  Lee Tinnion (1)  Dan Smithson (1)  Gareth Wylie (1)  Tom Graham (1)

CONVERSIONS:  Ben Blain (1)

THE STARTING XV:

15    Chris Harris
14    Lee Tnnion
13    Dan Smithson
12    Lee Askew (Jack Oddie)
11    Ollie Barker
10    George Graham
9      Ben Blain
1      Steve Stamper (Captain)
2      Tom Graham (John Bowman)
3      Martin McGimpsey (Graham Kidd)
(Tom Graham)
4      Paul Halliday
5      Mark Barron
6      Dan Smithson
7      John Bowman (Gareth Wylie)
8      Gareth Wylie (Lee Brumpton)
16    Graham Kidd
17    Lee Brumpton
18    Jack Oddie

[slidepress gallery=’carlisle-v-gateshead-24th-april-2010′]