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Percy Park, vying for the automatic promotion spot with West Hartlepool (visitor’s to Warwick Road this week), were made to fight every inch of the way for their victory against Carlisle.
In the end it is the result that matters, and Carlisle can count themselves extremely unlucky not to have taken the points away from PP. Apart from calling the opening shots for the first quarter of an hour, the home side were kept on their mettle by a lively Carlisle outfit who gave a fine display that belied their league status.
Park were two converted tries to the good with quarters of an hour, but then had to defend with some stealth what they had. Carlisle reduced the arrears after centre Chris Harris put his wingman, Martin Brodie off down the right wing to touch down in the corner. But, into a strong breeze, Grant Connon was unlucky with the conversion that came back off the far post.
Until the break Carlisle gave it all they had to bridge the gap, with hooker Tom Graham, and number eight Lee Brumpton catching the eye, and the home defence, with their forward drives.
After the break Martin McGimpsey brought his experience to the tight head berth for young Ed Faulder – who is still learning his trade! Carlisle had plenty of ball, with the Connon brothers, Grant at fly half and his older sibling, Max at full back, putting in some intelligent kicking to benefit the attack. Carlisle plugged away after Grant Connon closed the gap with a penalty after three minutes, but another effort on the fifty minute mark went wide.
Carlisle looked comfortable on the ball but couldn’t turn their possession into points.
PP added a couple of tries, one converted, with Connon slotting a penalty between the tries.
As a consequence of this reverse they dropped a place in the league and betwen now and the end of the season have six matches for salvation, and given the spirit they displayed in the north east, they should be make level 6 rugby a certainty at Warwick Road for another season.
TEAM: 1st XV
(League/Cup/Other): North 1 East
RESULT: 26 pts v 11 pts
HALF TIME SCORE: 14 pts v 5 pts
Tries: Martin Brodie (1).
Pens: Grant Connon (2)
STARTING XV & REPLACEMENTS:
15 Max Connon
14 Martin Brodie
13 Chris Harris
12 Barry Earl
11 Dan Holmes
10 Max Connon
9 Tim Hughes
1 Steve Stamper (acting captain)
2 Tom Graham
3 Ed Faulder (Martin McGimpsey)
4 Callum Grey
5 Paul Halliday
6 Mark Allan
7 Bobby Sherlock
8 Lee Brumpton (Tom Ritchie)
16 Tom Ritchie
17 Martin McGimpsey
18 Simon Little
PICK OF THE PACK: Lee Brumpton
BEST OF THE BACKS: Chris Harris
NEXT MATCH: 02/04/2011 – Carlisle V West Hartlepool. KICK OFF 3.00pm