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The Colts travelled the long distance to Birmingham to play in Round 5 of the Under 19s National Plate competition hoping to build on their decent showing against Keighley.
From the start they showed no evidence of any travel fatigue chasing down the Birmingham defence. The early territorial advantage was with Carlisle as they repeatedly probed for gaps in the home sides defence but could find no way through.
With Birmingham holding their line, Carlisle were the first to fall foul of the referee’s whistle and repeated infringements saw the home side press up the park and caught the visitors defence cold with a try under the posts.
Carlisle tried to break back as quickly as they could but after some dogged defence by the Birmingham side, they were quick to steal ball and moved it wide for their full back to race down the wing for their second try.
Carlisle tried hard to get into the game and with Birmingham comitting a number of penalties and the referee reaching for his pocket for the first of a number of yellow cards, Andy Glendinning slotted a penalty through the posts to get points on the board for the visitors.
The second half started with some desperate defence by the Carlisle side and the Birmingham side had soon breached the defence for a third try.
With the referee losing patience with the home side for repeated infringements, Carlisle tried to exploit the advantage of having two extra men, and after a few unsuccessful attempts at getting ball to ground over the try line, managed to swing the ball across the line for Ben Fisher to force his way over under the posts.
Once the home side regained their player count, they used their greater physical strength to subdue the visitors and restored the points differential with a fourth try.
By now the match was lost and Birmingham sealed their win with a penalty after an infringement at a ruck in front of the posts. Their wasn’t much difference between the sides technically, but it proved the old adage that a good big ‘un’ will always beat a good little ‘un’ and the home side had a greater physicality about their game.
The players gave 100%, which is all you can ask, and they will be better for the experience of this competition.
Kick off time: 3.30PM
Match: Birmingham & Solihull v Carlisle Colts
Venue: Solhillians RFC
Won / drawn / lost: lost
Result: 29 v 10
Half time score: 14 v 3
Report sent in by: Bill Glendinning