Carnforth 14-19 North Manchester

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FOR the third game in a row at Kellet Road, Carnforth should have gained the victory that would have seen them climb the league table, but once again their lack of finishing was their downfall.

From the start, winger Phil Metcalfe went close after good work from Gavin Barton, Kevin Hardy and skipper John Edmondson.

On 12 minutes the visitors took the lead when the number eight picked the ball up and ran through 30 yards unchallenged for a try, which was converted.

The lead should have been increased but a penalty from in front of the posts was sliced. However, ten minutes later the lead was doubled when once again the number eight was able to power through for his second try, also well converted.

Carnforth came back to life with Barton, man of the match Jason Waterhouse, Brad Wheatman, Cousins and Chris Albiston all making breaks but a dogged defence stood firm.

Time and time again though Carnforth found themselves in the away 22 but a combination of choosing the wrong options, dropped passes and stern defence kept the visitors in front by 14 at half-time.

Half-time replacement Joe Harrison made an excellent impact with some fine direct running as Carnforth looked to get back into the game.

Close to the hour mark and they did get on the electronic scoreboard when Hardy stepped back inside to register a try, Cousins converted.

Carnforth now had the incentive to push forward but they had to be wary of a dangerous Manchester side who looked good on the counter, the scrum half a tricky customer to deal with.

With Carnforth looking to reduce the gap the ball went to ground and allowed Manchester’s player of the match to kick ahead and with some great skill he managed to fend off Barton to score in the corner.

Carnforth hit back strongly, Albiston again going close, with Waterhouse, Lee Moorhouse, Jason Short and John Greenland making good breaks with Craig Walker always in support.

With four minutes to go Cousins went over in the corner after an excellent move, his conversion clipping the post on its way over, to reduce the gap to five points.

North then took over and controlled the game as they ran down the clock, they almost scored again but for an excellent tap tackle by Wheatman.

The hosts knew they would have to run the ball from deep to try and score but they were unable to get any good possession and the visitors gleefully took the points.

Carnforth: O Cousins, P Metcalfe, B Wheatman, J Edmondson (capt, J Harrison), C Albiston, K Hardy, S Ripley (S Rich), L Moorhouse, J Short, J Waterhouse, C Walker, J Greenland, G Sykes (S Mason), G Rich, G Barton.

Match sponsor: The Spry Family in memory of Mrs E Spry.