A LOT more dog from the 11's
By Paul Keast
The Bullogs from Westmorland pipped by the Gazelles from Cumberland.
Beautiful Spring weather welcomed us to Carlisle for our eagerly awaited return fixture against our friends from Cumberland.
When we played at the Hornets Nest, we came out slightly on top against a Carlisle team that was missing several key players - with them being at full strength, how would we fare ?
Ahead of the game, we talked to the players in small groups about their approach to the game and how bringing some 'dog'to their play would add to their enjoyment of rugby.
& lo and behold, the 'dog' appeared. & it added a new aspect to the U11's game. In the tackle, ruck and maul, the U11's played as they'd never played before. From the side of the pitch, they were a different group to the players that went to Newcastle, only a fortnight ago.
In the end, Carlisle were able to work out our strengths and weaknesses and it was in these areas that they attacked. Across the 4 games that were played, the lead ebbed and flowed between the 2 clubs, but overall, it was the free running Gazelles from Cumberland, that came out on top of the grizzling Bulldogs from Westmorland.
We finished off with a mass game of British Bulldogs and it was a sight to behold that at the end, 2 players (1 from each club) had the confidence to take on 45 of their teammate in the final round.
In Oct 2013, our game at Carlisle was one of our first ever fixtures and the gulf in skills between the two clubs was very large. A season and a half later and the gap has closed considerably. If the progress that the players are making carries on apace, next seasons fixtures between Carlisle and Kendal promise to be closer affairs.
p.s. a thank you to the players, parents and coaches/refs at Carlisle for arranging a lovely mornings rugby. Having the games played between equal ability teams added to everyones enjoyment of the fixture.