Carlisle complete the first half of the season tomorrow ahead of the Christmas / New Year break with a home game against Blaydon.

The city side, battling hard to consolidate in North Premier, will be looking to repeat the outstanding win against Harrogate in their last home game when they take on their North East visitors.

Harrogate had only lost once before they visited Warwick Road and were beaten, and they are two points behind Blaydon in the table although they do have a game in hand.

Blaydon, though, despite their lofty vantage point of second-in-the-table have lost four games and that will encourage Carlisle to believe that they can pull off another win against high-flying opposition.

Interestingly, Blaydon lost at home, 12-8 to Harrogate last Saturday, while Carlisle went down 50-32 in a points festival at Lymm.

Despite the loss, Carlisle played well for much of the game, but the Yellow card syndrome struck again. Losing 19 points was simply too much to claw back, and a 10-minute period down to 14 men was not managed well. Lymm exploited it with wingers who had gas to burn.

There are fine margins in this league between winning and losing, with not much between the sides for long periods in this game. Lymm took their opportunities well, but Carlisle were worth at least a try bonus point if not more.

The message from player coach Matt Shields is increasingly to keep 15 men on the pitch, keep the penalty count low and Carlisle are as good as many in this league.

It was a yellow card for Max Connon on 31 minutes which effectively killed-off Carlisle as Lymm scored three quick tries to lead at the break 36-11.

Carlisle earned their four-try bonus point with touchdowns from Ed Harper, Grant Seward, Josh Holmes and James Telford. Jason Israel kicked two penalties and a conversion while Max Connon also kicked two conversions.

In North One West, Penrith picked up an important win to halt a recent slide as they beat struggling Warrington 29-10 at Winters Park.

They have an immediate chance to get a little run going before the Christmas break as they travel to third-bottom Bowdon tomorrow.

It wasn’t a text book performance against Warrington but at least, in the end it was job done and five points to savour.

They were actually being held 10-10 at half-time and that, only after Jay Rossi squeezed over in the corner just before the break.

Dylan Cowperthwaite had opened the scoring with an unconverted try before the relegation-threatened visitors came back to lead 10-5.

The second half was a different matter as the home side found a bit of direction and played much better rugby. Although far from perfect they kept Warrington on the back foot for almost the entire half as they eased themselves, eventually, to a comfortable win and that bonus point.

Penrith had introduced newcomer Mason Lewthwaite at the break into the inside centre berth and he was instrumental in the home side’s third try and impressed throughout.

Adam Howe, George Graham and Cowperthwaite scored the second-half tries, although the concern centred around two injuries to Josh Dowson and Frazer Nicholson after some dangerous high tackles.

It will be top versus bottom tomorrow when Keswick travel to Wilmslow and a stiff test in prospect for the Lakesiders.

They are still looking for their second win of the season after losing 25-8 at home to Firwood Waterloo on Saturday.

Keswick’s second half performances in most games this season has out-performed their first half efforts and this match was no exception. Despite losing the first half by 17 points they managed to draw the second half, with one unconverted try to each side.

Lewis Bell had actually kicked Keswick in front but by half-time they were trailing 20-3 as the home side struggled against a powerful pack.

But they saw more possession in the second-half and only conceded one try while Ryan Weir again demonstrated his prowess by scoring a very good try for Keswick.

Tomorrow’s hosts Wilmslow just squeezed home at their nearest rivals Birkenhead Park 24-22 last week, to open up a nine-point lead at the top.

Meanwhile, in North Two West, Aspatria slipped back into the bottom three after losing 29-7 to promotion-chasing Manchester.

The feeling in the Aspatria camp was that they hadn’t fired any shots against a strong and well-drilled Manchester side.

For the home side there was a lot of effort, but they were beaten by a better team on the day, and sometimes this just happens.

Following last week’s victory at Sefton the pack had a consistent look about it seeing the return of Dicky Miller in to the engine room allowing veteran Phil Dixon to resume his flanking role. The same couldn’t be said for the backline where there were five positional or personnel changes from the previous week following unavailability’s and illness in the camp.

If there was a consolation for the Black Reds it was that they won the second-half 7-5 after trailing 24-0 at the break.

Jason Ward scored the try, converted by Jack Clegg.

In the Cumbria League, Wigton and Cockermouth share the lead with 49 points from their 12 games, four more than Whitehaven.

But the danger to them all are St. Benedict’s who have two games in hand and already have 44 points.

Wigton kept pace with Cockermouth after they beat Workington 29-3 at Lowmoor Road.

The Greens scored five tries through James Fitt, Steven Harris, Elliott Armstrong, Josh Nicholson and Mark Trow. Armstrong converted two.

n Tables & stats: P27

Cumbria League games tomorrow are: Cockermouth v Millom; Egremont v St. Benedict’s; Hawcoat Park v Wigton; Silloth v Carlisle Crusaders; Upper Eden v Windermere; Whitehaven v Creighton; Workington v Furness.