Carlisle tame tykes

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Date of match:        23/04/2011
TEAM:            1st XV         
MATCH:            Carlisle v Cleckheaton
(League/Cup/Other):    North 1 East League

RESULT:            31 pts v 22 pts
HALF TIME SCORE:    14 pts v 5 pts

Entertaining Cleckheaton on their first ever league visit to Warwick Road, Carlisle started the game with the same vigour that they applied the previous week when they overcame Team Northumbria.

Yet again though, the city side were hampered in their selection with late changes having to be made to the line up because of injuries.  They needn’t have worried though;  Carlisle dealt comfortably with whatever “Cleck” threw at them.

In the main the home pack dominated the forward exchanges.  As early as the third minute they gave notice of their intention to go for the maximum of five league points available to them.

From a quick penalty about five yards from the visitor’s line, pivot Lee Brumpton deceived the defence and touched down between the posts.  Grant Connon had an easy conversion.

Despite appearing to be in the ascendency early on, the homesters did not have it all their own way, allowing the visiting number eight to reduce the arrears five minutes later with an unconverted try. Play was delayed for a few minutes, and Brumpton had to leave the field for treatment to a blood injury (Gareth Wylie deputising whilst treatment progressed).

This minor disruption did not cause too much upset, with Carlisle maintaining a grip on the match.  Brumpton returned after about ten minutes and was soon in the midst of the action.  His vision, drive and tenacity was important to Carlisle, always encouraging forward drives.  On twenty six minutes, scrum half Tim Hughes sniped his way through the massed defence, offloaded to Brumpton who helped himself to the points for Connon to improve.

Displaying a growing confidence, Carlisle were not for easing off.  Connon put his side upfield with some intelligent kicking and three minutes later, from a line out just inside the “Cleck” twenty two line, the ball was won and found it’s way to centre Chris Harris, who in turn let Martin Brodie away on a powerful thrust down his wing to touch down in the right hand corner.

[slidepress gallery=’carlisle-v-cleckheaton-rfc-23rd-april-2011′]

Whilst 19 pts to 5 at the break may have looked comfortable, it was never going to be enough.  The Yorkshiremen were showing plenty of spirit, and in possession they kept Carlisle on their mettle.  Indeed within three minutes of the restart Piper added another try before the city injury jynx that has plagued the club in recent weeks, struck yet again!

Hooker, Graham Kidd had to leave the field when his back went into spasm and utility forward Mark Allan deputised.  The pack was not quite as composed as it had been but nevertheless they stuck to their task.  On fifty eight minutes flanker Dam Smithson helped the cause with a well worked but unimproved try.

With ten minutes remaining Carlisle stretched their grip on the game to 31 pts to 10 when Brodie on the right wing, made ground after getting the ball about half way.  He powered up the flank and then infield to strike at the posts.  Connon added the conversion.

This season Carlisle have tended to have a hold on games and then in the latter stages start to ease up and let the opposition back in with a chance.  Saturday was no exception and Cleckheaton put in two tries, one converted, in the last six minutes.

A great win it may have been, well deserved, but the elation of success was soon assuaged when it was discovered that those below them they needed to lose had al picked up points, still leaving thins tight.  Carlisle have the whip hand though, with the advantage of two games remaining.  The aim has to be to win both games;  it is no good leaving it to the last game against the table whipping boys (Hartlepool Rovers) who visit Warwick Road on 7th May.

As was seen on Saturday, Northern (second bottom) gave promoted side West Hartlepool a good beating!  Nothing is guaranteed.

SCORERS:          
Tries:    Lee Brumpton (2), Martin Brodie (2), Dan Smithson (1).
Cons:    Grant Connon (3)
Pens:        –
DG’s

STARTING XV & REPLACEMENTS:
15   Lewis Boyd
14   Martin Brodie
13   Chris Harris
12   Barry Earl
11   Matthew Minett
10   Grant Connon
9     Tim Hughes
1     Steve Stamper (C)
2     Graham Kidd (Mark Allan)
3     Martin Kalinowski
4     Martin McGimpsey
5     Paul Halliday
6     Dan Smithson
7     Callum Grey
8     Lee Brumpton
16   Mark Allan
17   Gareth Wylie
18   Simon Little

PICK OF THE PACK:    Lee Brumpton
BEST OF THE BACKS:    Grant Connon

NEXT MATCH:    ON 30/04/2011, Durham City V Carlisle – KICK OFF 3.00 pm