Hartlepool Rovers 3 v Carlisle RFC 17

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North 1 East League
Saturday, 16th October 2010

After the trauma of recent weeks when Carlisle have contributed to their own downfall on occasions, it was really refreshing to see a display of attacking rugby that did the lads and the club proud.

To say that Carlisle deserved their success at The New Friarage would be an understatement;  and then there will be the cynics who will try to negate the success by pointing out that the hosts were (and still are) holding up the rest of the league!  That said, a win on home soil for Rovers was what they were after, and although they didn’t get what they set out to achieve, they made damned sure that Carlisle had to work every inch of the way for their victory.

It was a pulsating encounter in which the city outfit worked very well as a unit, and if there was to to be any criticism, it would have to be that we ought to have scored more tries (even one more would have brought a bonus point).  The Rovers pack were not a match for the visiting eight who kept them under control, particularly in the set pieces, regularly pushing them back for yards.  The front row gave no quarter, with props Steve Stamper and “Biff” McGimpsey giving their opponents a torrid time.  Hooker Tom Graham had a good game too, being particularly effective in the loose, always making good yards when in possession.

[slidepress gallery=’hartlepool-rovers-v-carlisle-rfc-16th-oct-2010′]

The early exchanges favoured Carlisle and they kept the home defence under pressure on their line, and on 6 minutes they opened their account when number eight Lee Brumpton touched down following a push over wide on the left.  Young Grant Connon was not able to convert, but along with his half back partner, scrum half Joe Blaylock, had a fine match, and the pair of them showed experience beyond their youth, and were always in the thick of the excitement.

Hartlepool came back into the game for a short while, and put the Carlisle defence under a spell of pressure but their attacks were repelled with relative comfort.  It was during this spell that the north east side got their only points with a penalty from full back, Chris Sainty.

Carlisle resumed the initiative and on 25 minutes, improving (by the game) lock forward Paul Halliday got over for his first try (unconverted) for the club, and it was no more than he deserved.  He was full of effort and industry and had his share of success in the line out too!

There were to be no more scores in the opening period, but it was not for the want of trying in the 15 minutes remaining, and try as they might, the bottom club could not find a way through the Carlisle rearguard that was resolute on the day with flankers Mark Allan and Bobby Sherlock, together with pivot Lee Brumpton, all catching the eye with good work.

Just on the break, Carlisle were unfortunate to lose Connon to a yellow card – the referee will know what for, ‘cos no one else does!

After the break, Carlisle continued where they left off and the teams were soon of equal number when ‘pool lost a replacement (after the break) when his contribution was cut short after only 5 minutes.  Hartlepool tried to take advantage of the absence of the Carlisle stand off but all to no avail.  Despite their best efforts, the Carlisle defence dealt comfortably with what was thrown at them.

The Carlisle backs looked lively throughout the game and with a little more luck several of them could have added their name to the score sheet.  On 68 minutes, winger Dan Holmes throttled up field with Connon in support  –  ball to Connon, who then offloaded to Chris Harris who broke through the defence on the left and met with little resistance to touch down between the post for Connon to add the extras.

The Warwick Road men will take confidence from this effort and can look forward to next Saturday when the entertain Morpeth.  There are signs too of some of those who have been suffering from long term injury will be back in contention, giving the coaching staff a luxury of choice!


TRIES:    Brumpton (1), Halliday (1) & Harris (1)
CONS:    Connon (1)


15    Ben Blain
14    Martin Brodie (Matt Rogers)
13    Chris Harris
12    Barry Earl
11    Dan Holmes
10    Grant Connon
9      Joe Blaylock
1      Steve Stamper
2      Tom Graham
3      Martin McGimpsey (Martin Kalinowski)
4      Mark Barron (Capt)
5      Paul Halliday
6      Mark Allan
7      Bobby Sherlock
8      Lee Brumpton
16    Martin Kalinowski
17    Gareth Wylie
18    Matt Rogers

MAN OF THE MATCH:  The whole team!

PICK OF THE PACK:  Mark Allan (see picture above).

BEST OF THE BACKS:  Joe Blaylock (scrum half).