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The first game of the season on Saturday 10th of September in the NE and Cumbria Saturday League, saw Carlisle Colts away to local rivals Wigton.
First game nerves saw handling errors on both sides and a sudden deterioration in the weather, meant Carlisle were playing into a stiff wind and rain in the first half.
Both sides were evenly matched to begin with although Carlisle started to probe the home defence with some strong darting runs from No 8 Adam Robertson. A Wigton attack was then strongly defended and fullback Alex Clark broke away and ran a good 40m before being held up 10m out on the left.
With Wigton infringing at the breakdown, the resulting penalty was put into touch for a line out. From the line out the Carlisle forwards then pushed their way close to the Wigton line, sucking in the Wigton defence, and Robertson was able to dive through a morass of bodies to get points on the board for the visitors.
There were to be no further points on the board in the first half, although the Colts finished strongly, with scrum half Oliver Armstrong sniping through the home defence only to be stopped short.
Wigton started the second half brightly and pressured the Colts defence straight away. A rolling maul by the Wigton forwards was just stopped short of the Carlisle line and only some desperate defending allowed Carlisle to clear their lines.
With Wigton committing a penalty and giving Carlisle breathing space, a deep kick into the Wigton 22m had the home side scrambling back to defend. With Carlisle winning the ball in the ruck, and moving the ball across the back line on the Wigton 10m line, some quick hands allowed centre Jordan Clement to dive across the line on the right for the second Carlisle try, converted by fly half Andy Glendinning.
Wigton again started strongly from the restart and Carlisle had to keep focussed to defend their line. Fullback Clark again ran from deep, and supported by winger Tom Kelly and Clement made deep inroads into the Wigton half, only to be stopped by the Wigton defence just short of the try line. Wigton managed to press forward with Carlisle committing a series of infringements at the breakdown, allowing the Wigton side to get close to the visitors line.
Their scrum half, H Twentyman,then seized the opportunity to dive over on the right hand side for a try, which was subsequently converted. Carlisle however refused to be deterred and some probing play down the right strung the Wigton defence across their 22m, and some quick ball back across the backs to flanker Josh Hill on the left, supported by Clark and Kelly, allowed Kelly to race through the stretched Wigton defence to score the last try of the game by the left upright.
This was a good effort by a depleted Carlisle team, and sets them up for their encounter with Alnwick at home next week.
Kick off time: 2pm
Match: Wigton v Carlisle
Won / drawn / lost: won
Result: 7 v 17
Half time score: 0 v 5
Carlisle scores by:
SCORER TRIES CONS DROPS PENS
A Robertson 1
J Clement 1
T Kelly 1
A Glendinning 1