Leaders Bishop Auckland Ladies proved to be too strong for Carlisle Rugby Club women’s team, claiming a 38-22 win against the Cumbrians.

Despite having started their NC1 North East League campaign with successive wins, Carlisle Cougars started slowly in their opening away game of the campaign, as the hosts scored an early try.

But Carlisle responded quickly on Sunday.

Hannah Sherlock chased down a kick, kicked it towards the try-line but was wiped out by a Bishop player, with the referee instantly awarding a penalty try to the away team.

Bishop Auckland hit back though and, despite one of their players getting yellow-carded for illegal rucking, they led 28-7 at half-time.

After the restart, Carlisle showed their strengths in small bursts, with Sarah Pratt making some strong breaks, but it was Hannah Wilkinson who carried the ball over for Carlisle, with a huge charge at Bishop’s defence from 10 metres out.

And despite Bishop’s fly-half scoring a drop kick, Carlisle were clearly improving, with their fitness starting to show, as forwards Emma Barron and Samantha Meakin put in some massive tackles.

Carlisle were still well behind but ended strongly.

Hannah Farrell made a run along the touchline, fighting off a few players to get the ball over the line, before Farrell shipped out wide to Barron who scored the final try in the corner, as Carlisle lost out by 16 points.