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After nearly 2 months off without a match and very little training, the under 16’s got a chance to burn off the Christmas pud with a match against a combined 16/17’s Kirkby Lonsdale team. And what an eventful trip it turned out to be with the match ultimately taking second place to the off the field events as our minibus broke down on the trip home and squad members on board had a three hour wait above the M6 for emergency service to get them home!
First the match report, and borrowing a couple of players and playing into a gale and heavy rain in the first half the Carlisle team were soon defending fiercely. Erik Shaddock seemed to be hauling down anything that moved, whatever size they were. It wasn’t long however before the home team got points onto the scoreboard, with a fine run from the Kirkby centre to score the first try of the game. Carlisle tried desperately to get into the match and a foraging run by Andrew Johnstone was only just prevented from breaking through the Kirkby defence. Just as Kirkby were trying to break back, a long pass was intercepted by Andy Glendinning on the half way line, but he tried to outrun Kirkby’s fastest player and was hauled down 10m from the line. Carlisle continued to try to break through the Kirkby line, but were unable to find any gaps. Kirkby then began to use the wind to their advantage and put Carlisle on the backfoot, forcing them to concede a 5m scrum from which they scored their second try. From the restart the home team gathered the ball and some slick handling and quick passing created an overlap down the left for the third Kirkby try. Despite having the best of the posession for the remaining 10mins of the half, the Carlisle team were unable to get over the try line.
With the wind at their backs now, the visitors tried desperately to get on the score sheet, and they had some sustained periods of pressure within the Kirkby half. Despite another charge through by Andrew Johnstone, some good running lines from Ollie Armstrong at centre, some neat rolling mauls by the forwards, and some quick ball through the backs to put Andy Glendinning inches short of the line, Kirkby’s superb defence held firm and they killed the game off with a fourth try right at the end.
The general feeling from the home support was that the result flattered them and our pressure and possession deserved greater reward. So despite the disappointment of defeat, there were still some positives to be taken out of the first game of 2011, and at least it gave them some game time, which has been in short supply recently. The team will now look forward to a challenging home match against Vale of Lune next Sunday.
At least we won’t have to use the minibus, which failed to start for the trip home; we think as a result the electrics reacting negatively to the wet weather. After some judicious intervention from Barry Israel and his jump leads we got back on the road and once on the M6 thought the problem was sorted. How wrong we were, as just south of Tebay the battery gave up completely and having parked on the hard shoulder we evacuated to the fellside to call for help; At least the rain held off for the 2-3 hours we were stranded, but it wasn’t warm! Many thanks to the Highways Agency whose welfare team stayed with us and to the Fylde Motor Company who sent 3 recovery vehicles to transport us home. But a special mention to the twelve lads who responded magnificently and kept their spirits up and showed great humour in a difficult situation and never complained; apart from Dean who seemed most concerned about missing the Eastenders omnibus! We got back to the club around 7pm; almost a twelve hour trip for the day!
Kick off time: 11am
Match: Kirkby Lonsdale v Carlisle
Venue: Kirkby Lonsdale
Won / drawn / lost: lost
Result: 0 v 24
Half time score: 0 v 19
Report sent in by: Bill Glendinning