Carlisle were made to work hard for their first win of the season, but eventually overcame Altrincham Kersal 41-35 for a bonus point win at Warwick Road.
Good defence by Carlisle soaked up a lot of early probing by the visitors in the opening exchanges but it was the home side who got points on the board first as Jason Israel slotted an easy penalty for an infringement at the breakdown.
Just a few moments later he did the same again as the visitors gifted him another chance in front of the posts.
The visitors struck back at a line-out catch and drive, which they executed well throughout the game, and gave them the first try of the game.
They then took the lead five minutes later as they exploited gaps in the covering defence to go over on the right, their kicker expertly converting as he did all day.
There was no panic from Carlisle, moving through the phases, gradually gaining territory until Angus Fulton took a crash ball through to the right of the uprights for Carlisle’s first try, converted by Israel.
Carlisle continued to put pressure on and after one too many penalties in the red zone and a warning from the referee, the visitors were reduced to 14 men for the rest of the half.
The hosts immediately exploited the numbers to score their second try as Josh Holmes powered through a bunch of defenders to cross the try line just before half-time for a 20-14 lead at the break.
A lot of endeavour by both sides in the opening exchanges of the second half came to nothing. Then Carlisle, who had turned up the screw on the visitors defence, scored as Israel powered over for their third try which he converted himself.
Carlisle had only just got used to being two scores up, when a kick out of defence by the visitors and an awkwardly bouncing ball caught out the two Carlisle defender. It was pounced on by the visitors to hack the ball through and score a breakaway try.
As Carlisle lost focus for a few minutes Altrincham Kersal exploited it by scoring another try under the posts to take the lead and a bonus point.
The game then swung back and forth between the two sides, with home captain Chris Auld scoring to take the lead, only for the visitors to regain it a few minutes later, with less than ten minutes to go.
Significantly there was no panic from Carlisle and they gradually built phases together, gaining territory until some good hands across the back line put Fulton in at the corner only for the ball to slip out of his hands before grounding.
Undaunted Carlisle rebuilt and some hard running by Ghanbari, Holmes and Fulton punched holes in a tiring visitors defence, until some great interplay by a number of players put flanker Tom Percival through to dive over under the posts.It only remained for Carlisle to close out the game for the last few minutes, which they did comfortably for the bonus point win.