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Carlisle have distanced themselves from the relegation zone following a decisive win over Anselmians.
However, they failed to secure a much needed bonus point from the Wirral based side. Prior to the match, Anselmians trailed Carlisle by just one point in the league, but a win for the Cumbrians has added another four points to the gap.
This week’s adverse weather meant this was never going to be a beautiful game, but flashes of brilliance from Carlisle’s attack will leave the city side reflecting on a few missed chances.
The wintry conditions forced a lot of mistakes from either team, and it wasn’t long before penalties were exchanged. Carlisle opened the scoring in the first ten minutes, with a penalty taken by fly-half Glen Weightman.
Within minutes, Anselmians answered with a penalty of their own, and Simon Mason equalised. Carlisle’s much improved backs were sharp in attack, despite the quagmire that now opened up on the playing field.
The Warwick Road side’s experienced centre Simon Little kicked the ball past the visitor’s defence, taking advantage of the visitor’s seemingly absent full-back.
Left winger Martin Brodie was able to beat Anselmians’ winger to the ball, and add five points to the city score. Anselmians were penalised for infringements at the ruck, and Weightman again added three points to the home side’s tally. From the restart Carlisle sought to answer with a try of their own.
A break down the wing by Dan Holmes very nearly added a further five points for the home side, but was held up short by the visitor’s astute defence. It was not long, however, till the city side’s attack once again came to fruition.
Lewis Boyd scored his first try of the match, outpacing the Anselmians defence for a much deserved try. Weightman again converted leaving the score at 18-10 going into half time. After the break, Anselmians began with flair, no doubt following a few stern words from their coach.
Anselmians number eight, Loa Tupou, was particularly strong in defence as he managed to decisively take down Carlisle’s hefty second row, Callum Rowlandson.
The home defence, however, was resolute, and nothing came of Anselmians 20 minutes of aggressive play. After being instrumental in absorbing the visitor’s attack, Josh Holmes was replaced by first team stalwart Dan Smithson with twenty minutes left on the clock.
Anselmians became frustrated by the home side’s defence, and their flanker, Carl Hellier, was sin-binned for swearing at the referee.
Carlisle, on the other hand, showed great discipline throughout the game, and avoided the usual barrage of penalties and yellow cards. With only fourteen men on the field, it was only a matter of time before Carlisle exploited the visitor’s weakened defence.
Following a cross-field kick to Martin Brodie, he punted the ball on once more, only for Lewis Boyd to race past Anselmians’ defence and consolidate Carlisle’s victory.
Weightman stepped to add the extras, to finish the game 25-10 to Carlisle. Scottish copper Gareth Wylie was man of the match, after putting in a great performance and showing real determination in both attack and defence.
Next Saturday, Carlisle travel to Vale of Lune to avenge a heavy defeat at the start of the season. A win next Saturday would see Carlisle drift further away from the relegation zone.
However, Wilmslow, who sit one place above Carlisle, play Anselmians this weekend, so a win will not be enough to advance further in the league.
Bonus points for four or more tried could well prove decisive come the end of the season, and with only two to their name, Carlisle need to start picking them up wherever the opportunity arises; and if they must lose, do so by seven or less points to get a bonus point too.
Match report by Joe Anderson
Scorers for Carlisle:
Tries: Lewis Boyd (2), Martin Brodie (1).
Conversions: Glen Weightman (2)
Penalties: Glen Weightman (2)
Man of the Match: No 8 Gareth Wylie
Carlisle 25 pts Anselmians 10 pts
RFU SSE North 1 West League
Saturday, 10th December 2011
The Carlisle team:
15 Lewis Boyd
14 Dan Holmes
13 Simon Little (Matt Minett)
12 Matt Tinsley
11 Martin Brodie
10 Glen Weightman
9 Tim Hughes
1 Joe Anderson
2 Tom Graham (Rob Robertson)
3 Ed Faulder
4 Mark Barron (C)
5 Callum Rowlandson
6 Josh Holmes (Dan Smithson)
7 Bobby Sherlock
8 Gareth Wylie
16 Rob Robertson
17 Dan Smithson
18 Matt Minett
Away at Vale of Lune, Saturday, 17th December 2.15 pm. Coach leaves Warwick Road 10.45 am – supporters welcome.