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Carlisle travelled to Bower Park bouyed by their victory over 3rd placed Widnes the previous week.
That victory kept them out of the relegation slots, so it was important that the city side maintained their momentum with a victory over near neighbours Aspatria. Local derbies are often dour affairs and with the home team in deeper trouble than their guests a solid contest was expected.
In the opening four or five minutes Aspatria looked as though they may try to keep Carlisle penned back in their own territory, but gradually Carlisle found their way, and from then until the interval, seemed unlikely to allow the black reds any favours.
The Carlisle front eight have looked solid and capable all season so far, so it was no surprise when they dominated yet again.
Jack Clegg had the chance to put his side ahead in the second minute but the usually accurate kick sliced the chance well wide. At eight minutes, Weightman had his first shot at the sticks, and his too went astray.
From then on though, it was mainly Carlisle who had the home defence working at full stretch to stop their line being breached. Carlisle spent a lot of time in the home twenty two area and the line was regularly under threat, and should have been breached more than the twice they managed before the break.
It was just after the midway point of the half, when a scrum about fifteen yards out was won, the ball finding its way to veteran outside centre, Simon Little, and he threaded his way through a surprised defence to touch down at the posts for Weightman to convert.
There was a brief flurry from Aspatria from the restart before Carlisle continued their assault on the home line and ought to have had a couple of tries before scrum half Tim Hughes wriggled through from a scrum five yards out. Again, Weightman converted.
Clegg managed a penalty for Aspatria shortly before the break.
At the interval Carlisle had to reshuffle their pack with lock Callum Rowlandson retiring with knee trouble. Utility man Gareth Wylie replaced him with little disruption to the effectiveness of the Carlisle effort.
Within five minutes of the restart, Weightman had lofted a couple of penalties through the posts to stretch the lead out to 20 pts to 3 pts. Aspatria had a spell that started to threaten the city side and on fifty minutes closed the gap with an unconverted try.
Carlisle then had to make further change with Dan Smithson (no 8) leaving with a groin strain; Eddie Faulder replaced him.
The came another penalty from Weightman before Carlisle found themselves two men short when winger Martin Brodie saw yellow for a mild high tackle that provoked reatliation that was both unacceptable and unpunished.
Carlisle were unsettled a little and Aspatria came into the game and at a ruck about five yards from their own line, Weightman was binned for handling in the ruck.
Aspatria were quick to take advantage and soon added seven with a converted try after finding a way through the defence. Heartened by this success, they added a a further seven points to close the gap to just one point with eleven minutes remaining.
Restored to a full XV again, Carlisle recovered their composure and sealed the game when Matt Minett lanced his way through on the left wing to touch down.
Aspatria 22 pts Carlisle 28 pts
SSE NW1 League
Saturday, 19th November 2011
Scorers for Carlisle:
Tries: Simon Little (1), Tim Hughes (1) & MattMinett (1).
Cons: Glen Weightman (2)
Pens: Glen Weightman (3)
Man of the Match:
Flanker, Josh Holmes has made a big
impact since breaking into the team in recent weeks, making his debut at Leigh on Bonfire
15 James Rocke
14 Martin Brodie
13 Simon Little
12 Barry Earl
11 Matt Minett
10 Glen Weightman
9 Tim Hughes
1 Joe Anderson
2 Tom Graham
3 Martin McGimpsey (Ross Ol;ney)
4 Paul Halliday
5 Callum Rowlandson (Gareth Wylie)
6 Josh Holmes
7 Bobby Sherlock (C)
8 Dan Smithson (Eddie Faulder)
16 Gareth Wylie
17 Eddie Faulder
18 Ross Olney
Next Saturday (26th November): Home to Kirkby Lonsdale in the semi final of the Cumbria Cup – 2.15pm