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After last weeks reverse at Northwich. the Warwick Road side redeemed themselves with a competent performance over Wilmslow on Saturday. Injuries still continue to plague, but nevertheless Carlisle set about the task of holding the visiting XV at bay with a competent performance, with the result never looking in doubt.
The Carlisle pack has looked solid for most of the season to date, and with Joe Anderson coming in at prop for the injured Callum Hermeston, no one would have noticed! One of the problem areas for the city side this season has been their inability to field a settled and authoratative centre partnership (injuries being the main source of frustration). Veteran Simon Little was elevated from the Crusaders and his experience was a boost to those around him. His solid tackling was an example to others, who took note of his zeal and followed his example in many cases.
The Carlisle pack were in command from the outset, and playing with a strong upfield wind, they soon had the Wilmslow defence operating at full throttle to keep the powerful assaults at bay.
Fly half, Glen Weightman, had a chance to put his side ahead on seven minutes with a penalty from wide out, but the swirling wind shifted the ball wide of the target.
The Warwick Road faithful hadn’t too long to wait for a try though. Within a couple of minutes the ball found it’s way from a maul to the menacing lock, Callum Rowlandson, who was standing back just outside the twenty two area. Some good handing got the ball to Rowlandson who powered for the left hand corner to touch down with a clutch of defenders hanging on, but unable to deal with his strength! The conversion fell short.
Carlisle had to settle for those five points, because despite having 85% of the possession, and operating largely in Wilmslow space, further breaKthroughs evaded them.
After the break, and facing the wind that many expected Wilmslow to use to keep Carlisle penned back, the home side extended their lead with a fine try in the right hand corner when winger, Martin Brodie touched down. Brodie was showing what he is well capable, given a share of the ball, and the the hope must be that in the coming weeks, plenty of ball will see him breaching defences more regularly. The backs had combined well with Brodie finishing off with a powerful thrust on his wing, fending off desperate tackles.
Wilmslow seemed to offer little in the way of resistance, and perhaps the mystery is, and given their overall dominance, why Carlisle did not add more tries to their tally. A bonus point at least, would have been welcome. Carlisle must learn to be more productive by turning their hard earned possession into points!
Carlisle made some tactical changes within the first fifteen minutes of the second period, Carl Wills coming on for Halliday and Eddie Faulder giving Anderson a break in the front row, and that did little to disturb the ability of the pack to control the game.
Weightman had another penalty opportunity on sixty six minutes but the attempt fell just short and Carlisle had to wait until the final minute of normal time for points. Again it was the giant Rowlandson who made a break for the line from deep infield, with a hapless defence unable to bring him down. He took two or three of the defence with him over the line! Weightman converted to give Carlisle some breathing space at the foot of the table.
This victory lifted Carlisle out of the relegation slots for the first time this season, but there is no room for any complacency. The aim has to be, apart from winning games, scoring as many tries as possible, because in the final analysis it could well be the bonus points that decide their fate.
Next week Carlisle are at Leigh (2.15 pm).
North 1 West League
Saturday, 29th October 2011
Scorers for Carlisle:
Tries: Callum Rowlandson (2), Martin Brodie (1).
Cons: Glen Weightman (1).
Man of the Match:
The Carlisle squad:
15 James Rocke
14 Martin Brodie
13 Simon Little
12 Richard Hawley
11 Matty Little
10 Glen Weightman
9 Tim Hughes
1 Joe Anderson (Ed Faulder)
2 Tom Graham
3 Martin McGimpsey
4 Paul Halliday (Carl Wills)
5 Callum Rowlandson
6 Dan Smithson
7 Bobby Sherlock
8 Mark Barron (C)
16 Ed Faulder
17 Carl Wills
18 Nick Bidwell (not used)
Carlisle Crusaders 5 pts Wilmslow 2’s 15 pts
U of S NW Division 1
The Crusaders let the slip the opportunity to tighten their grip on second spot in their league with this unexpected reverse. However, they do retain second place but this reverse allowed Wilmlsow to creep into third place, one point behind them
Gosforth Greengarth v Carlisle Hornets
Cumbria Shield League
Postponed – GG unable to field a side.