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Many years have passed since the two sides had met in league combat, although there has been the odd county cup encounter in the intervening period.
Perhaps not the game for the purists, but both sides gave it their all, with the city men coming out on top – just!
Pre match, much had been said about the strength of the Wigton pack, but on the day they did disappoint and overall it was the Carlisle forwards who looked the more accomplished both in the tight and loose play.
On the evidence of this game, both sides have a lot to do over the coming months to ensure survival. That said, and as far as Carlisle are concerned there are clear signs of improvement and hopefully the progress will be maintained.
Wigton drew first blood within a couple of minutes of the kick off when they grabbed a converted try. Eleven minutes into the game, fly half Glen Weightman reduced the arrears with a penalty and for the next ten minutes they put the home side under a deal of pressure that eventually paid off when Matt Minett touched down in the right hand corner after a foray down the wing; the conversion from Weightman was just short.
Wigton retook the initiative with a penalty that gave them a two point lead at the break.
Half time gone, and Carlisle recognised that there was advantage to be had by using the breeze and putting the ball into the left corner, something Wigton had failed to do in the opening period. The city men got an early reward, left wing Martin Brodie touching down, but the conversion evaded Weightman again, although he atoned for that with a successful penalty attempt on the fifty minute mark.
It was tense affair thereafter with both sides looking for openings, but in the main it was Carlisle who looked the more likely to take a firm hold.
With a couple of minutes to go, Wigton went on the offensive and put the Carlisle line under pressure with a try wide out right. Lucky for Carlisle, the conversion fell shorty, leaving them defending a one point benefit for what remained of the match.
North 1 West League
Saturday, 8th October 2011
Scorers for Carlisle:
Tries: Matt Minett (1) & Martin Brodie (1)
Pens: Glen Weightman (2)
Carlisle Man of the Match: Dan Smithson
The Carlisle XV:
15 Lewis Boyd
14 Martin Brodie
13 Dan Holmes
12 Barry Earl (Tim Hughes)
11 Matt Minett
10 Glen Weightman
9 Joe Blaylock
1 Joe Anderson (Robert Robertson)
2 Tom Graham
3 Martin McGimpsey
4 Paul Halliday
5 Callum Rowlandson (Carl Wills)
6 Bobby Sherlock
7 Dan Smithson
8 Mark Barron (C)
16 Carl Wills
17 Robert Robertson
18 Tim Hughes
Next match: Saturday, 15th October at Warwick Road – kick off 3.00pm at Broughton Park