Under u16’s v Keswick

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Carlisle were looking to build on their impressive performance last week against Consett in this County Cup semi-final against Keswick.

With heavy overnight rain turning the pitch into the consistency of heavy porridge, this was never going to be a pretty game. Carlisle started brightly enough, and after some driving forward play in the Keswick half, a break down the left by Jack Mitchell was just repelled by the Keswick defence.

However they committed a infringement at the breakdown to give Andy Glendinning an easy penalty kick in front of the posts to put Carlisle 3 points up. Keswick responded immediately and with some good rucking and the use of their large forwards, they bulldozed their way through a stretched Carlisle defence to score the first try of the game.

Carlisle tried to regain the momentum but were struggling to put phases together, with Keswick defending and counter rucking well. With Carlisle trying to spin the ball wide across the Keswick 22, Keswick centre Josh Dowson intercepted and showed the chasing defenders a clean pair of heels to score Keswick’s second try.

Neither side however were able to make any further progress in the remainder of a very scrappy first half, with Keswick deservedly in front at half time.

[slidepress gallery=’carlisle-under-16s-v-keswick-rfc-13th-march-2011′]

The second half started much brighter for the home team, and after pressuring the Keswick defence, the ball was worked wide across the pitch to put winger Scott Hogarth in the left corner for the first Carlisle try. Carlisle then capitalised on their improved performance and from the restart replacement flanker James Robson caught and drove through the Keswick defence to allow the ball to be worked wide across the backs to give Hogarth a second try in the left corner, converted by fullback Jack Walker.

Keswick however were not giving up and determined to take the game to the home side. Only some stout defending prevented the Keswick side from breaking through. Just as Keswick seemed to have found a way through a stretched Carlisle defence, fullback Walker smothered the Keswick attacker, robbed him and set the backs off to release Hogarth to hare off down the wing to score his third try, converted by Glendinning.

Keswick still came back at Carlisle and there ensued some sustained periods of Keswick attacks which eventually paid dividends with their third try to bring them within a score of the home team. Carlisle regained the upper hand though from the restart with the forwards pressuring the Keswick side into coughing up the ball and the ball was again worked wide across the pitch to put Hogarth in for his and Carlisle’s fourth try. With a 10 point cushion, the Carlisle side were able to close out the remaining few minutes of the game.

This wasn’t the free-flowing game of last week with Keswick proving to be a much more organised and determined side. Carlisle however kept their heads when behind and worked out how to overcome their spirited opponents to progress through to the County Cup final.

Full time score:    27 v 17
Half time score:    3 v 12

Report sent in by:    Bill Glendinning