Liverpool St Helens 15 Carlisle 19

ON a day when LSH entered into the Christmas spirit and gifted their opponents at least one score, if not all three, Carlisle were worthy winners.

Displaying a well organised and resolute defence and effectively controlled by their half backs Hughes and Weightman they played with great enthusiasm and took full advantage of the chances available to them.

LSH, for their part, although working hard with effort and endeavour in abundance, let themselves down with poor decision-making; a lack of penetration when attacking; and some indifferent tackling.

Carlisle went ahead in the 16th minute.

A long clearance kick was caught by Glen Weightman deep in his own half before travelling 70 metres virtually unchallenged to the LSH line.

LSH then spent a good deal of the next quarter pressuring the Carlisle line. Try as they might however they found no away through a resolute defence, reaching half-time seven points in arrears. The Moss Laners then had the perfect start to the second half with a try from flanker Phil Kearns and then edged into the lead in the 64th minute after a series of strong drives led by skipper Jan Lourens, having a fine game, Sean Mackin and Mark Williams, led to a successful Smith penalty from 30 metres out.

LSH’s joy was short-lived with Carlisle flanker Bobby Sherlock scoring in the right hand corner.

Four minutes later another clearance attempt was immediately returned towards the LSH line where, on this occasion, there was no one at home.

Smith chased back and gamely attempted to clear the danger only to lose out to two Carlisle pursuers, one of which, winger Dan Holmes, comfortably touched down. Weightman converted.

LSH responded strongly by attacking once again and with two minutes left and in a rare excursion along the back line the ball reached Jake Hodson on the left wing.

The young winger took aim and dived past his opposite number to score the try which salvaged a losing bonus point for the Moss Laners’ efforts. Smith converted. And so with the Christmas break upon us and just over half the season gone, LSH are one of four clubs separated by just six points at the top of North One West.

They are two points behind Sale and just above Carlisle and Vale of Lune.

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