Old Crossleyans 23 v Carlisle 22

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Clock stops too soon for Carlisle!

It seems like the same old cliches get trotted out to explain away defeats!   This was a game Carlisle could and should have won although they did let the Crocs dominate for much of the opening half (well, not quite a half).  The referee had a suspect watch that left Carlisle bemused, and although Crossleyans acknowledged that the time keeping by the official was less than accurate, it worked out to their advantage!

The home side were quick off the mark and put Carlisle under pressure during the early minutes of the game and opened their account after four minutes following a quick break from their own half down the right with an unconverted try.   The city responded with a good bit of pressure initiated by fly half Grant Connon who closed the gap with a well taken penalty within five minutes.   The visitors were lucky when the home side failed to convert a penalty but at the midway point in the half they added a converted try and then further increased their grip on the match by landing a penalty.

Carlisle were, to a large extent authors of their own misfortune, being guilty of careless tackling, and failing to retain possession by booting the ball away too often.  Eventually, the penny dropped that they were capable of something more creative.  Lewis Boyd, on the left wing, took advantage a ball that was chipped through and found his way over in the corner for Connon to convert.

[slidepress gallery=’old-crossleyans-v-carlisle-rfc-20th-nov-2010′]
On thirty four minutes the visitors conceded another penalty but the attempt went wide.  Carlisle seemed to be spurred on and started to  revitalise their efforts with signs that the message had got through that there was something in the game for them.  As they were getting into a stride, the break arrived – four minutes early!  At 15 pts to 10 pts there was still everything to play for.

After the restart, the hosts drew first comfort with a try after a couple of minutes.  Thereafter, it was mostly Carlisle in the driving seat, showing more than a little imagination, and testing the home rearguard regularly with tries from Boyd (57 mins) and Simon Little (67 minutes) with the first of the two converted.

Try as they might though, Carlisle couldn’t convert more of their second half pressure into points and Crocs nicked it with a penalty.

The referee having blown up for an early break, stunned Carlisle at a time when they were clearly on top and in looking good for mor tries scores  –  he blew for full time six minutes early, and the Cumbrians felt more than a little let down in their attempts to salvage the game.

No change in league placing though, and a bonus point for keeping the score margin to less than seven points!

SCORERS FOR CARLISLE:

TRIES:    L.Boyd (2), S.Little (1)   CONS:    G.Connon (2)   PENS:     G.Connon (1)

PICK OF THE PACK & MAN OF THE MATCH:  Tom Graham

BEST OF THE BACKS: Lewis Boyd

THE STARTING XV:

15    Max Connon (Lewis Boyd)
14    Martin Brodie
13    Chris Harris
12    Dan Holmes (Simon Little)
11    Lewis Boyd (Dan Holmes)
10    Grant Connon (Max Connon)
9      Joe Blaylock
1      Steve Stamper
2      Tom Graham
3      Martin McGimpsey
4      Mark Barron (Captain)
5      Paul Halliday
6      Mark Allan (Tom Ritchie)
7      Bobby Sherlock)
8      Lee Brumpton
16    Tom Ritchie
17    Martin Kalinowski
18    Simon Little

The Crusaders lifted themselves to 4th in their league with a 17 pts to 7 home victory over Leigh.

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