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A game of two minutes, the first and the last.
The under 15s welcomed Percy Park to a damp rain sodden mud bath at Warwick road, on 6th February, for a fixture that is never for the faint hearted, & this one lived up to its billing yet again.
Percy unbeaten this season & Carlisle winning 10 from 11, it was always going to be close & gave the bumper crowd 60 minutes of blood & thunder entertainment.
Carlisle with a squad of twenty nine made a decision to field two different teams to prevent so much chopping & changing durring the game, & this gave everyone a run out.
Carlisle found themselves behind within a minute of kick off when we ran Percy`s grubber kick back at them but lost the ball at the tackle allowing Percy to run in unopposed under the post`s, converted 7-0 down a minute on the clock.
The next 25 minutes or so was an out & out slog, with some surprisingly good handling by both side, with Percy thankful for some clearance kicking to relief pressure on several occasions, add to that Carlisle’s indiscipline letting them down with only meters from Percy`s line on a number of visits,
& with a minute or two to half time that discipline was telling, this time at the wrong end of the field as Percy slotted a penalty to turn round 10-0.
2nd half 2nd team or rather a 2nd team, yes we did allow them clean shirts in the interest of not only H&S but also allowed the crowd to distinguish the difference between both teams. (the mud was that bad)
Carlisle were now much more on the front foot, & hard running combine with good support pushed us close to the Percy line, quick ball from Will Nichol as he moved the ball wide, Tom Coulthard bursts into the line & went over for our first points with two players in support if he`d needed them 5-10
Back in the game could Carlisle build from this, well if they could it would be with 14 men as referee Ben Blain had no other option then to bin Callum Sandwith (lucky not to be red young man)
Carlisle went back into percy half again & after some 7 or 8 phases Greg Graham (son of George, brother of George, brother of Gary leader of the armies of the north) made a darting break from the base of a ruck but was held up short by some desperate Percy defending, but he had sucked it 3 Percy players & this allowed a gap for Brendan Ferguson to drive over, conversion by Tom Coulthard. 12-10
Time running out & still down to 14 men we had to defend a 5 meter Percy scrum, alas with only 7 men in the pack Percy picked up & drove over for a converted 12-17
Back to full strength but only 3 minutes left a smart kick by Tom Fuller put Percy under pressure as Carlisle pinned them down & turned over ball at the ruck, Percy win it back but fumble on the 5 meters & its last chance saloon for Carlisle.
We win the scrum & move the ball out, but Tom Fuller checks back in & drives for the line, support gave us 2nd & 3rd phase but it looked like no way through, just then Henry Berry picked & drove over with 4 desperate Percy defenders on his heels,arms legs & neck, 17 -17 with the conversion to come.
Tom Coulthard searches for some firm ground but none to be found, the coach helps but his glasses are rain soaked & he cant see, so Tom drops the “T” in a mud patch, at this point standing up was an art, so can he keep his feet, keep his head, keep his nerve, keep the crowd waiting, he takes his run up with 15 screaming Percy players sprinting towards him,
Straight down the middle it went straight down the middle 19-17 (number 23 can we have our ball back)
A minute on the clock & a rapid K.O gathered by Mr safe Henry Berry & the clock gets run down @ 19-17
What a game with the main winner on the day being youth rugby, a well drilled Percy side who are a credit to that club & coaches.
29 guys used by Carlisle & well done each & everyone
Many thanks to the many supporters for turning up on such a unpleasant day its very much appreciated
And a massive thank you to Ben Blain not just for his excellent refereeing on the day but also his huge influence at training.
Result: 19 v 17
Half time score: 0 v 10
Report sent in by: Jim Goode