Carlisle Men’s hockey first team opened the League season with a big 13-3 win at Jesmond Parish Church.
The second team completed a club double when they beat their Jesmond counterparts 5-2.
But not such a successful day for Carlisle women who suffered two defeats against Kirkby Stephen with the firsts going down 4-1 and the seconds beaten 1-0.
In the second team game Jesmond’s intent was clear from the off as the Cumbrian circle was flooded from the start. Indeed the home side took a deserved lead with a looping deflection from Stapleton’s stick.
Carlisle came back strongly and when Atkinson delivered a missile of a pass it was superbly controlled by Thomas before he shot home before levelling the score, finishing with panache.
Back came the Churchmen, winning a series of penalty corners before finally piercing the away defence with some training ground trickery that once more took the Osborne Rd outfit back in front.
Carlisle then began to see the quality of their new recruit Ravenscroft, who first helped set-up the second equaliser.
Giving and receiving short quick passing down the Jesmond left and drawing out the full backs to intercept, it enabled a delightful one-two with Tupper which allowed the skipper to fire a skud missile of a shot into the Jesmond bottom corner.
Ravenscroft was by this point causing Jesmond all sorts of problems and it was their indecision that owed Carlisle’s new talent to ghost into the circle and slip under the on-rushing keeper. Carlisle were now leading for the first time.
Thomas then burst from deep, latching onto a classic attacking move but run and subsequent shot was again parried by the Jesmond shot stopper. Fortunately for Carlisle the irrepressible Ravenscroft was following-up to sweep home to give the Cumbrians’ lead a buffer.
Yet as concentration waned it became a breathless last five minutes bringing keeper Geoff Dunning back into the game with two fine saves denying Jesmond any possibility of a fightback.
Carlisle, with only minutes to go, forced their own penalty corner from which Hill, fizzed the ball to the waiting Atkinson at the top of the circle. He scooped the ball low and hard for the defence to parry and then for Tupper to force the ball over the line.
This Saturday the 2nd XI will be entertained by the Sunderland Broom club in another North East Hockey fixture.