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With the frost holding off, Carlisle Colts were able to play Morpeth in near perfect conditions.
With a number of call-offs and players away at half-term it was a depleted side that took to the field. With Morpeth kind enough to loan a player to make up numbers it was the visitors who drew first blood in a keenly fought opening half, with their outside centre breaking through the home defence to score under the posts.
Carlisle were quick to break back though, and straight from the re-start the Colts forwards secured ball and with it recycled out to the backs, a good running line from centre Euan Foster created space for fly half Adam Robertson to score to the left of the posts.
The easy conversion was missed by centre Andy Glendinning, something that was to cost dear later on. With Carlisle continuing to press forward, from a ruck on the right, the ball was worked right across the field and some good interplay between the two centres, Glendinning and Foster saw Glendinning released down the left wing, stepping the last defender to score the second home try and the last score of the first half.
With injuries in the second half leaving Carlisle with 14 men for long periods, it wasn’t long before the visitors exploited the extra man to score an unconverted try and take the lead. Carlisle however were keen to look for a third try and with Morpeth infringing at a ruck in front of the posts it was an easy 3 pointer for Glendinning to allow the Colts to resume the lead.
Morpeth were not giving up easily and their outside centre, who was dangerous all game, soon had his side back in the lead with another unconverted try. Despite a lot of pressure and a try attempt udjudged held up, the Colts were unlucky not to convert this into more points and with Morpeth winning a penalty deep into the second half, the resulting seven point difference looked almost unatainable.
With the last play of the game, the Carlisle forwards battled their way up the park, and through sheer determination prop James Bulman dived across for the third Colts try, the conversion attempt just sailing past the right upright, and the win going to Morpeth. This was an absorbing game, played in good spirits by both sides, with the margin between the sides down to the accuracy from the boot.
Kick off time: 2pm
Match: Carlisle v Morpeth
Won / drawn / lost: lost
Result: 18 v 20
Half time score: 10 v 7
Report sent in by: Bill Glendinning