Carlisle 21 v Durham RFC 24

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Saturday, 9th October 2010
North 1 East League

With a successful outcome on the horizon, Carlisle let this game slip from their grasp to allow the visitors the luxury of some stolen league points!   The home side started well enough and come the break they would have been satisfied with their efforts, and anticipating finishing a job that they had started reasonably well.

City, always a hard outfit to grind down, were quickly served notice that they were in a match!  Some good exchanges in the opening minutes gave rise to optimism for the city side and supporters.  As early as five minutes, centre Chris Harris broke from his own half, centre field, and made ground before offloading to stand off Grant Connon to score and convert his own try.  No more than was deserved.

The Carlisle pack were in the ascendancy, but then they started giving away unnecessary penalties for careless mistakes,  Scrum half Groves closed the gap for Durham on nine minutes with the first of three penalties.

Undeterred, Carlisle kept plugging away and were rewarded three minutes later with a second try from inside centre Barry Earl – Connon adding the conversion.

Carlisle should have been able to add more tries but luck escaped them, and the only points added during the first half were two more penalties from Groves to make the score at the break, 14 pts to 9 pts.  Perhaps too close for comfort as far as Carlisle were concerned!  They had done sufficient to deserve the advantage and it was reasonable to assume that they would carry on where they left off.

[slidepress gallery=’carlisle-v-durham-city-9th-oct-2010′]

But, they reckoned without the powerful onslaught that Durham were going to throw at them in the second period.  Carlisle were on the back foot for long periods.  Ben Blain had replaced young Joe Blaylock at scrum half.  Tough defence was the order of the day now, and it was not helped on 46 minutes with the “binning” of prop Steve Stamper.  It was during his absence that the visitors added two unimproved tries from Dent and Metcalf.

Carlisle were forced into some forward changes with Duncan Harty going on for skipper Mark Barron and Gareth Wylie replacing number eight James Pavitt who suffered a back injury.

There were signs that Carlisle might claw their way back but their efforts suffered a set back on 63 minutes when they ceded another try, and at 14 pts to 24 pts, gave themselves a mountain to climb.

However, in the last ten minutes Carlisle really put the city defence under severe pressure and spent long periods in the visitors twenty two area trying to reclaim the game.

With four minutes remaining, Connon repaid Harris for his earlier support, setting him through for a try (converted) between the sticks.  The gap closed to three points, it was all hands to the deck and try as they might, Carlisle could not find a way through to win the game.

If Carlisle could maintain some consistency and stop giving away too many un-necessary penalties, then they would soon see themselves pulling away from the foot of the table.


TRIES – Chris Harris (1) Grant Connon (1) Barry Earl (1)

CONS – Grant Connon (3)

PICK OF THE PACK: Lee Brumpton for his all round drive and industry.

BEST OF THE BACKS: Dan Holmes  – on the wing, battled for every ball and was always there in support.


15    James Clark
14    Dan Holmes
13    Chris Harris
12    Barry Earl
11    Martin Brodie
10    Grant Connon
9      Joe Blaylock (Ben Blain)
1      Steve Stamper
2      Tom Graham

3      Martin McGimpsey
4      Mark Barron (C) (Duncan Harty)
5      Paul Haliday
6      Bobby Sherlock
7      Lee Brumpton
8      James Pavitt (Gareth Wylie)16    Ben Blain
17    Duncan Harty
18    Gareth Wylie

Apologies to those who want to download copies of our programme.  Sadly, it was not possible to produce a programme for this game, but normal service will resume for the next home game with Morpeth on 23rd October.

Next Week: Away at Hartlepool Rovers –  coach leaves Warwick Road at 10.45 am