Northern 42 v Carlisle 17

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The lights go out at Northern

Carlisle travelled to Northern on Saturday 30th October for their first competitive match against the newly promoted side for many years, having been regular opponents before the onset of league competition.

Carlisle v Northern match picture

Action from the game

Given the way the city side played against Morpeth the previous week, there was optimism that another good performance would bring in  more league points.  The reverse was the case though.   Carlisle never really got out of the starting blocks effectively, and within ten minutes had lost their experienced full back, when Lewis Boyd had to retire with a hamstring problem.

The city side looked generally lethargic, although there were one or two exceptions.  Too many players were off their game and they tended to look second best throughout.  The hosts were more hungry for the ball, and not having won a league point all season, they were determined to undermine what Carlisle had achieved the previous week in the demolition of Morpeth.

All that said, there was still a chance that they could redeem themselves as half time approached.  They had clawed their way back from a deficit of 14 pts and into added time the score stood at 17 all when they allowed Northern to reclaim the advantage by letting in a try through sloppy defending.

Scores in the first half for Carlisle from Chris Harris and Grant Connon who converted both tries and added a penalty.

The second half was even less inspiring, and Carlisle sent most of their time in defensive mode, and sowing little of the imaginative play that they are capable of.

Carlisle can’t afford to rest on their laurels and need to quickly find a better vein of form.  They are lucky that the league table remained unchanged as far as they are concerned, with the other sides around them also losing.

With this coming Saturday being a free weekend, they have time to work on their weaknesses.  They will need to, because the following week they entertain Old Brodleians who are one of the surprise packages in the league this term.

Scorers for Carlisle

TRIES:        Grant Connon (1), Chris Harris (1)
CONS:        Grant Connon (2)
PENS:         Grant Connon (1)

Pick of the pack & man of the match Hooker Tom Graham

Best of the backs: Fly half Grant Connon with a conversion

Starting XV:

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

Match pictures
[slidepress gallery=’carlisle-v-northern-rfc-30th-oct-2010′]

Other information:

The Crusaders (2nd XV) consolidated their position in Division 1 of the NW Intermediate leagues with an emphatic 54 pts to 10 pts win over Preston Grasshoppers at Warwick Road.  This victory lifts them to sixth in the league.