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The day got off to a bad start with injury scares and unavailabilities and inevitably that meant some changes to the Carlisle XV for their first ever trip Wheatley Hills (Doncaster).
Hills were early season visitors to Warwick Road and sneaked away with a result after snatching a try in the embers of added time.
The result always tells a tale, but not always the full story, and in the case of this game there was always more to it than what appears to be a trouncing – far from it. Being at home, the Yorkshiremen had to fight hard for their victory, and it was only a ten minute spell early in the second half that saw them secure the the league points, when Carlisle leaked four tries, three of them converted. Otherwise, Carlisle contributed to a good game of rugby that was appreciated by all who watched it.
Wheatley Hills drew first blood three minutes into the game with a converted try but their joy was short lived within three minutes, when man of the match, fly half Grant Connon, pierced the home rearguard with a fine try between the posts, allowing himself an easy conversion. The game ebbed and flowed from end to end with both teams having chances to take the lead; Carlisle edged in front on twenty six minutes with Connon landing a penalty. The lead was short lived though with WH reclaiming the initiative with a try on the half hour mark.
Two points poorer at the break, Carlisle had every reason to think that they could take something out of the game, having dealt with everything that was thrown at them, and making life uncomfortable for the opposition.
Shortly after the restart, things turned a little sour, with four tries ceded in a ten minute spell. Apart from that unfortunate spell, Carlisle could be proud of their efforts in keeping WH on the back foot for long spells.
With nine minutes remaining, Simon Little, on a replacement in the centre, set his partner, Chris Harris, through to score just left of the uprights. Connon converted. 0ther opportunities did not produce the points, but overall Carlisle, whilst disappointed with result, can be proud of their efforts.
Sorry, no match pictures this week
RESULT: 38 pts v 17 pts
HALF TIME SCORE: 12 pts v 10 pts
Tries: Grant Connon (1), Chris Harris (1).
Cons: Grant Connon (2)
Pens: Grant Connon (1)
STARTING XV & REPLACEMENTS:
15 Max Connon
14 Martin Brodie
13 Chris Harris
12 Luke Bell (Simon Little)
11 Matt Little
10 Grant Connon
9 Tim Hughes
1 Steve Stamper
2 Tom Graham
3 Ed Faulder (Graham Kidd)
4 Dan Smithson
5 Paul Halliday
6 Mark Allan
7 Bobby Sherlock
8 Tom Ritchie (Lee Brumpton)
16 Graham Kidd
17 Mark Allan
18 Simon Little
PICK OF THE PACK: Steve Stamper
BEST OF THE BACKS: Grant Connon
NEXT MATCH: ON 26/03/2011, Percy Park V Carlisle – Kick off at 3.00pm