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Carlisle Cobras travelled to Ponteland on 17th October, looking to make it six wins from six this season. Up to now all games in the North East had been tough encounters and it was clear from the outset this would be no different.
Ponteland won the toss and elected to recieve. Carlisle settled into the game right from the outset and within thirty seconds they had their first penalty just to the right of the posts on the 22m line due to some severe pressure.
Brett Connon stepped up and slotted the ball between the posts however the home side touch judge decided against raising his flag, which astounded all onlookers!. Nevertheless Carlisle continued to apply the pressure and some good defence work led to Ponte only being able to kick the ball away to relieve pressure.
As usual, full back Tom Coulthard was solid at the back and ran the ball well whilst also putting boot to ball to put Carlisle in the right areas of the field. On fifteen minutes Lewis Fuller made what could have been tackle of the season, some might have said it was dangerous others a ‘great hit’. At this point it looked as though Ponteland may have gone into their shell’s but this was not the case.
A yellow card for a late tackle which was nothing more than a cuddle saw number 7 Henry Berry go to the sin bin. After this Ponteland’s attacks were more frequent, and on 22 minutes they managed a push over try
On other days this may have been ruled out for a ‘double movement’, but not today. 5-0 to the Northumbrians. With 3 minutes to half time, Connon closed the gap with a penalty, this time the Ponteland touch judge did raise his flag and we went in 5-3 down at the break.
Things started badly for the Cobras in the second half when they lost hooker Henry Wainwright and prop Callum Sandwith through an accidental clash of heads. However the Cobras pulled themselves together and battled on through. Jason Tait added aggresion and penetration to the pack whilst Jason Israel moved the ball well in the backs.
It was around the 44th minute when a disagreement between some of the players around the Ponteland 22m line led to two yellow cards and two red cards were shown. The Ponteland number 9 and Cobra’s hooker Tait saw red whilst number 4 Davidson and the home side’s 7 saw yellow. Maybe a punishment was the right option however this is under 15s rugby…perhaps a stern talking to may have sufficed on this occation.
Carlisle responded positively and when the ball got out wide to flanker Henry Berry, he scampered over from 20 metres to score out wide making up for his earlier sin binning. Connon could not convert. A poor retreival from the kick off lead to applied pressure from the home side deep within the visitor’s 22. Eventually, somehow, by diving over the ruck, a Ponteland player convinced the referee he had got the ball down, others may say he dropped it. Nevertheless they converted and were back in the lead 12-8. and looked good for their lead.
At this point it looked as though the Cobras were heading for their first defeat of the season until superb feet from Coulthard beating
four defenders and when the ball emerged from the ensuing ruck, led to a knock on from Carlisle which was from Pontelands point of veiw unfortunate as the ball stayed alive and defiant pace from left winger Lewis Reid got him on the outside of the home sides defence and dived over under the sticks before celebrating with his peers. Connon converted sending the Cobras into a 15-12 lead.
2 minutes left on the clock and this time Carlisle dealt with the kick off better and cleared the ball well. They then created a superb turnover before number 10 Brett Connon used a 7s style ‘goose step’ to break down the line and score. He added the conversion and the Cobras won the game 22-12.
Head coach Jimmy Goode celebrated on the touch line with the travelling fans after what had a been a mixed game. He said; ‘I was especially pleased with the way we worked for the whole 60 minutes. Once again our fitness proved to be valuable in the latter stages. Maybe we were close to throwing the game away through our frustration from some decisions, but we learned over the game to just get on with it. Some great tries and a fantastic win!’.
Travelling fan Darren Fuller added his congratulations by saying;
‘Today took a lot of character from the boys and they came through it well. At the moment they love playing for this club and will do anything within their powers to get the right result. “Well done fellas!”
A special mention must go to Team Manager Bazza for his soup again. I’m sure all the supporters were grateful of the warm lentil and bacon broth on a cool day. But also to coach Mike Davidson for his delicious chocolate cake. The whole cake had been demolished in about 15 seconds. A good effort!
All in all a succesful weekend for the club with 1st xv, 3rds and colts all winning on the road too. Next week the Cobras entertain Upper Eden at Warwick Road on Sunday. Kick off is 11am.
Result: 22 v 12
Half time score: 3 v 5
Report sent in by: Ben Blain