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The city side have developed a tradition of being slow starters in the league. Having lost three or four key players to a higher standard of rugby elsewhere, perhaps it is not surprising that they are finding it rather a struggle to find some meaningful form this season.
Since the opening day cup victory over over Aspatria they have suffered three consecutive league reverses. Apart from those that have moved on, a number of senior players have been unavailable due to work demands or injuries.
Hopefully when some of the latter are able to return, fortunes will improve.
Youthful exuberance is never going to be enough to sustain a meaningful assault on league advancement. Carlisle are dependent on a swathe of youngsters who have come through the ranks. Perhaps they are finding the step up rather more than they expected, but expectations are that things will improve.
Carlisle were undone by a slicker Lancaster outfit, although it took 24 minutes before they could breakdown the home defence for the opening try. Vale added a second try, converted, before a determined Carlisle attack put hooker Tom Graham over between the posts for the returning Glen Weightman to convert.
Despite their best efforts though, that was to be the lot for the Warwick Road men who went into the break 10 points in arrears.
In the second period the visiting side added a further 27 pts with a five further tries, one converted.
No one could doubt the effort of the Carlisle XV, but experience counts for a lot.
The match was hardly a spectacle, and whilst not taking anything away from the Vale it could hardly be said that they were necessarily a good outfit. They were made to look better than they were.
RFU North West 1 League
Saturday, 17th September 2011
Scorers for Carlisle:
Try: Tom Graham
Con: Glen Weightman
Man of the match: Tom Graham
15 Jack Dawson
14 Dan Holmes
13 Matthew Little
12 Barry Earl (C)
11 Francis Dixon
10 Glen Weightman (James Rocke)
9 James Rocke (Joe Blaylock)
1 Callum Hermeston
2 Tom Graham
3 Mark Allan
4 Paul Halliday
5 Callum Rowlandson (Dan Smithson)
6 Carl Wills
7 Carl Robertson (Ed Faulder)
8 Tom Ritchie
16 Dan Smithson
17 Ed Faulder
18 Joe Blaylock