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Glorious weather, glorious rugby – in defeat!
Our first ever league trip to Widnes was full of expectation with hopes high that another “double” could be achieved, and how close it was! There is no doubt that the home team were pleased to hear the final whistle; they know how close they came to having their play off hopes weakened.
On a grand Spring afternoon with not a chemical factory in sight, Carlisle were quick off the mark and Widnes were served early notice that they could expect a strenuous challenge on home turf. Early exchanges suggested that the Carlisle pack were going to be troublesome for the Heath Road side, and so it was for most of a pulsating encounter.
Widnes found it difficult to neuter the threat, especially from the visiting front row who, between them, had an immense game.
Three minutes into the match Carlisle opened their account with a try from wingman Dan Holmes but Glen Weightman had left his kicking boots on the bus! That was to all the points the city side could muster in the opening half, but it was not for the want of trying.
In the main, careful to restrict the supply of ball to the home backs, who were dangerous when allowed to play, Carlisle managed to retain control for the best part. But, they punished themselves on 11 and 38 minutes when missed tackles and careless ball handling allowed Widnes to capitalise on two mistakes that made the half time scoreboard read 14 pts to 5 pts.
Within three minutes of the restart Carlisle wondered what had hit hem! Widnes had added two more converted tries leaving the guests bemused and 23 pts in arrears. What followed was some pulsating rugby, the pack creating a platform for the backs who between them, had a fine match in all facets of play.
Full back Lewis Boyd especially caught the eye, linking with his colleagues, probing and menacing and threatening all afternoon. Taking a couple of tries for himself, one converted was the least he deserved for his efforts. Flanker Bobby Sherlock grabbed himself a try between the two from Boyd.
Fly half Weightman who had a fine match overall, found his feet late on with a couple of penalties, although Widnes snatched a try between them.
With no side approaching Widnes had to muster all their resolve to retain the lead and the their was palpable relief on and off the field when the final whistle came, and the local chat at the bar was to the effect that the Carlisle backs had been the best seen at Widnes all season.
Widnes 33 pts Carlisle 28 pts
RFU SSE North 1 West League
Saturday, 24th March 2012
Man of the match: Full back Lewis Boyd
Scorers for Carlisle:
Tries: Dan Holmes (1), Bobby Sherlock (1) & Lewis Boyd (2).
Cons: Glen Weightman (1).
Pens: Glen Weightman (2).
The Carlisle squad:
15 Lewis Boyd
14 James Rocke (Simon Little)
13 Matt Minett
12 Barry Earl
11 Dan Holmes
10 Glen Weightman
9 Tim Hughes
1 Joe Anderson
2 Stuart Graham
3 Martin McGimpsey
4 Paul Halliday (Tom McCullough)
5 Callum Rowlandson
6 Lee Brumpton (Mark Barron)
7 Bobby Sherlock (C)
8 Andrew Blaney
16 Mark Barron
17 Tom McCullough)
18 Simon Little
31st March at 3.00 pm H v Aspatria.