A bonus-point win at Firwood Waterloo saw Carlisle Rugby Club create a bit of history to become champions of North One West.

The 31-10 win in Crosby, Liverpool, confirmed the Warwick Road club’s progress to Level Five rugby in North Premier next season.

While it's still mathematically possible for Blackburn to end the season on the same points as Carlisle if the city side gain nothing from Saturday’s final game against bottom team De La Salle, they would still have more wins than Blackburn - and so finish top.

Carlisle supporters’ nerves were settled a little when, after seven minutes, Grant Connon slotted an easy penalty in front of the posts after Waterloo were caught on the wrong side of a ruck in their 22.

The home side were lively in response and got their rewards for this early intensity as a five-metre line-out from a penalty infringement gave them possession inside the visitors 22. They eventually crossed the whitewash after a number of pick and goes for a converted try and the lead.

Five minutes later, Carlisle lost playmaker Grant Connon to the sin-bin after a bit of argy-bargy erupted in the middle of the field. This gave Waterloo the opportunity to extend their lead to seven points from the subsequent 40 metre penalty.

The home side were proving very difficult to breakdown and Carlisle were struggling to find opportunities to break the gain line.

On 25 minutes, they finally got that opportunity as a penalty allowed them a five-metre line-out. Going through the phases, the ball was worked across the field, and after a series of pick and goes, scrum-half James Telford finally found a gap to go under the posts for Carlisle’s first try and the conversion levelled the scores.

Both sides were evenly matched in this first period with neither exerting scrum dominance, and both sides lively in attack and resolute in defence.

There were opportunities for both sides to take the lead in the final 20 minutes of the half but neither side managed to get across the whitewash and the half ended 10-10.

The second half started much better for Carlisle as they upped their pace. Grant Connon and Telford combined to make some hard yards into the Waterloo half before being hauled down.

From the resulting ruck on the Waterloo 22, centre Dan Holmes found a gap in the defence and offloaded to player-coach Matt Shields, who smashed his way through the final tacklers and under the posts for Carlisle’s second try.

Waterloo responded by camping inside the Carlisle half and were held up over the line as they tried to find a way through the Carlisle defence.

The home side pushed the ball wide from the resulting scrum in an effort to find a way through but Carlisle managed to gain possession.

Winger Greg Baines, full-back Max Connon and flanker Kyle Lindsay then combined to move the ball up to the Waterloo 22 at pace, before Lindsay was hauled down. 

From the resulting ruck, the ball was moved across right to Grant Connon, who shrugged off the attentions of a posse of Waterloo players to speed through behind the posts for Carlisle’s third try on the hour mark.

It took just another eight minutes of Carlisle pressure to achieve their bonus-point try. 

A scrum to Carlisle just outside the Firwood 22 was moved quickly wide right to centre Chris Auld who still had work to do.

But he broke through two tackles, before finally crashing over the line close to the upright, to the delight of the players and the travelling support.

Fair play to Waterloo as they kept going right to the end.

But Carlisle’s defence held firm and it was left to Shields to boot the ball off the park to end the game.