1st XV v Pontefract 26th Feb 2011

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Once again  a game lost by Carlisle, rather than won by the opposition.  On a heavy pitch both teams found the going tough in the early stages, with Pontefract looking the more likely to have the advantage, although that dominance was not to last.

The Ponte pack, featuring a former Carlisle regular, Michael Burnett at eight, had the better of the early exchanges.  However, once the visitor’s found their feet, they were marginally better than the home side and probably edged the exchanges in most phases of the match.

Carlisle drew first blood when fly half Grant Connon landed a penalty a couple of minutes but the benefit was short lived when they went into arrears with a converted try after five minutes.  They added a penalty giving the Warwick Road XV a challenge to get back into the game, but the best they could muster was another penalty from Connon, with eleven minutes of the half remaining.  After reducing the arrears to seven points, Carlisle had a really good spell and put the home defence under heavy pressure for a long period, but without any reward.

[slidepress gallery=’carlisle-v-pontefract-rfc-26th-feb-2011′]

Carlisle made a few changes to their line up within a few minutes of the break and on forty six minutes Joe Blaylock, by now on the wing, linked with full back Lewis Boyd and the youngster  touched down giving Connon an easy conversion.

That score levelled the battle and Connon had a great chance to add to the tally;  a penalty, not far from the half way line, but in the line with posts, bounced back in field from the inside of the left stick!  He did atone for his misfortune though when he landed another four minutes later, one that gave his team the lead.  It was a short lived advantage though because within a couple of minutes Pontefract grabbed themselves a converted try.

Despite a huge effort from Carlisle they could not break down the stoic home defence and had to make do with a fourth penalty  –  enough for a bonus point for losing by less than seven points!

Both teams were hampered by confusion caused by a referee with experience officiating in rugby super league;  his interpretation of the laws seemed to lean to the other code!

RESULT:            20 pts v 19 pts
HALF TIME SCORE:    13 pts v 6 pts

SCORERS:
Tries:    Joe Blaylock
Cons:    Grant Connon (1)
Pens:        Grant Connon (4)
DG’s        –

STARTING XV & REPLACEMENTS:
15 Lewis Boyd
14  Max Connon (Joe Blaylock)
13  Chris Harris
12  Barry Earl (Max Connon)
11  Dan Holmes
10  Grant Connon
9   Joe Blaylock (Tim Hughes)
1    Steve Stamper
2    Tom Graham
3    Martin McGimpsey (Eddie Faulder)
4    Mark Barron (Capt)
5    Dan Smithson
6    Tom Ritchie (Mark Allan)
7    Bobby Sherlock
8    James Merton (Tom Ritchie)
16 Eddie Faulder
17  Mark Allan
18  Tim Hughes

PICK OF THE PACK:    Mark Barron
BEST OF THE BACKS:        Lewis Boyd

NEXT MATCH:    ON 05/03/2011  Old Brodleians V Carlisle  KICK OFF 3.00 pm