THERE was a high degree of satisfaction for Carlisle despite their 23-16 defeat against high-flying Harrogate on Saturday.

It gave them a total of six points for the season against one of the best teams in North Premier, who currently lead the table by three points.

Carlisle beat the Yorkshire side 29-17 at Warwick Road on November 30 and were close to a repeat in the return. A well-deserved losing bonus-point was some consolation for the effort they put in.

Two good tries by their stand-out player Harry Jukes were key to Harrogate’s victory, while it helped that they scored 15 of their points when the Cumbrians were down to 14 men.

Somewhere, a Warwick Road stats man will have worked out just how many points Carlisle have conceded when they have suffered from yellow cards. It’s a recurring theme, however, that has to be stamped out.

It’s something coach Matt Shields will be tired of emphasising to his troops, yet he was adjudged to have deliberately infringed at a line-out, and given 10 minutes on the bench early in the second-half.

The hosts scored from the subsequent line-out and, although Carlisle were still battling to the end, they just couldn’t close the gap.

James Brocket scored the Carlisle try while Jason Israel, who had given his side a 6-0 lead inside 10 minutes with two penalties, added a conversion and a third penalty.

All teams have a break this weekend, and Carlisle will be gearing-up for two important home games in quick succession- Sandal (Feb 1) and Macclesfield (Feb 8­) against two sides in the top five.

There’s no weekend break for Penrith and Keswick in North One West as they meet at Winters Park tonight (7.30pm) after the original fixture was postponed earlier in the month following the sudden death of Richard Atkinson.

Much has been said and written about Penrith’s inability to fulfil a league fixture at leaders Wilmslow last week, so let’s hope that is the last time the club is embarrassed by such an event.

Keswick will go into the floodlit clash having put up their best performance away from home when they came back from the Isle of Man with two points after a 24-22 defeat.

They had actually led 17-7 at half-time and almost snatched a draw in the dying minutes after Douglas had come back to lead. Lewis Bell’s touchline attempt at a conversion was just off target.

Ryan Weir added to his growing reputation as a deadly finisher with two more tries while James Hinkley and Harry Vaillant also touched down.

In North Two West, Aspatria enjoyed a convincing victory to suggest they have enough in the locker to fight their way clear of relegation.

They beat Eccles 41-5 at Bower Park and go into their break fifth bottom and five points clear of the last relegation place.

It was important to beat Eccles as they are one of the teams below them. The result wasn’t in doubt going into the second half after Eccles had briefly pulled back to 20-5.

The five Aspatria tries came from Josh Watson, Joe Beaty, Mark Beverley, Adam Cavanagh and Dan Gaskell. Kicker Jack Clegg had a 100 per cent return with five conversions and two penalties.

The Aspatria club has suffered two huge blows over the last week through the deaths of two stalwarts - former 1st XV skipper and current president, Les McTear (64) and former president and committee member Norman Lazonby (81).

In the Cumbria League, Upper Eden ended Cockermouth’s long reign at the top when they beat them 24-0- at Kirkby Stephen.

It now means St. Benedict’s have a five-point lead at the top, and a game in hand of all their main pursuers, who are headed by Cockermouth. They in turn are three points better off than Upper Eden and Wigton, with Whitehaven a further points behind in fifth.

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