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Carlisle Cobras travelled to the North East on 10th October for the third time this season, knowing they would face their toughest test yet against a determind and gritty Morpeth side.
However at nearly full strength confidence was high in the camp and captain Tom Fuller believed the lads could make it five wins from five.
The game started rather uneventful and for the first ten minutes possesion was wasted from both teams. The Morpeth number ten kicked positionally well, which made Carlisle look uneasy. However full back Tom Coulthard steadied the ship with some blistering runs through the heart of the Morpeth defence.
Fifteen minutes in, it was Coulthard who found a way through, cutting a superb line to score under the posts. Connon converted. Five minutes later Carlisle were pressuring the Morpeth line again and this time Lewis Fuller bulldozed his way over to score out wide. Connon could not convert. Carlisle looked to be settling into their stride by now, however some slack tackling allowed a soft try just before the break to allow Morpeth back into it. 12-7 at half time.
Scoring just before half time obviously lifted the Northumbrians and two minutes into the second half they were trailing by just two
points as they converted a penalty from thirty metres. But Carlisle responded and a forced penalty led to Brett Connon converting to put Carlisle back 5 points clear. 15-10.
Once again Morpeth kept the pressure on, and with ten minutes remaining they scored again to go into the lead 17-15 after slotting the conversion. By now Carlisle were looking the fitter team although trailing by 2 points. The Morpeth lads were trying to hold on, but Carlisle had too much pace for them to handle. With two minutes remaining, right wing George Patterson got on the outside of the Morpeth defence before fixing a man and passing to Guy Wilkinson who dived over the line to throw Carlisle back into the lead. Some of the coaches were on the pitch celebrating! Connon coverted and the game finished 22-17.
The game was played in great spirit by both teams and an excellent performance by the referee who managed the game well.
Head Coach Jim Goode said; ‘The lads didn’t play as well as we have this season, but they came through strong at the end. The fitness training is obviously working and that showed today. The back three made some great tackles which kept us in the game. On other days that may not be the case, so we need to work harder on our first tackles.’
Team manager Barry Israel was commended by the travelling supporters for supplying two flasks of soup and a selection of bread on what was a cold day!
Result: 22 v 17
Half time score: 12 v 7
Report sent in by: Ben Blain