United's starting eleven was unchanged for a fourth consecutive game off the back of a run of three consecutive victories in League Two.
Midfielder Danny Devine was back from a knee injury, which had ruled him out since the middle of December, with the bench otherwise unchanged.
United had an early corner when a Riley throw was nodded behind by Nthle. Guy delivered, and it was a beauty, and it was met on the full by Jack Armer. His header had immense power and it thundered into the back of the net.
As a side note it was a first ever senior goal for the young emerging professional, with assist number 12 coming from the in-form midfielder from the corner quadrant.
Barrow tried to respond through Luke James, who got forward with the ball at his feet. He spread it to Brough, and his cross had to be punched clear by Farman. Guy helped to complete the clearance.
Another Riley throw was hooked away as it entered the box, but Patrick was waiting for it. His 22-yard volley was charged down and Brough stepped across to sweep it high and out of the box.
United came again when a long ball forward from Farman was controlled by Zanzala. Alessandra took it on, and he moved it quickly to Riley. The playmaker went for a shot but he dragged it wide.
Barrow were back on terms from their first meaningful attack when Banks floated a deep free kick into the area. It was cleared, but Brough kept it alive as he looped a header back into the mix. Quigley trapped it and his connection on the turn saw the ball fly into the bottom corner.
Carlisle pushed forward from the restart and Guy had a free kick from the angle charged down. Riley and Guy bounced the ball off Alessandra, which gave Armer room to cross. Zanzala tried to scissor kick it at the target but it fell well wide.
But it was the Bluebirds who went ahead when McDonald was closed down by Quigley halfway inside the away side's half. The striker raced away before cutting into the area. He rolled a pass at James as he found space, but it went behind him as it trundled on to where Brough was waiting. A touch on the toe opened things up and the former-Carlisle man made no mistake from close range.
A break from the back for the Blues saw Armer cut inside to ask for help from Riley. He found Tanner, and his cross was nodded on by Zanzala. Dixon was off his line but he allowed it to drop free.
There was controversy on 35 minutes when Alessandra spun the already booked Neal Eardley in a dangerous area. A rugby tackle followed, but the referee waved play on instead of dealing with the incident. Everybody expected a red card to be shown when the ball went out of play but the official turned away, as if nothing had happened.
A cross from Riley after his throw had been sent back to him looked to be set for Patrick, but he couldn't bring it in to his instep as he tried to volley.
The visitors were gifted a good chance on the stroke of half time when Brough miscued a pass, presenting Riley with the ball. He took a step into the box before aiming at the top corner, but he couldn't keep it down.
Jason Taylor replaced Barrow captain Neal Eardley for the second period - a recognition of the fact from the home management that he was lucky to still be on the pitch.
Carlisle were positive from the kick off and Patrick overlapped before pulling it back. It bobbled into the area but there was no orange shirt there to finish it off.
United were there again when Guy fed Armer in midfield. He popped it on, but it was quickly cleared, but only as far as Mellish. Alessandra suddenly had space and he went for a curler, but it caught on the wind and angled wide.
The away side had defending to do when Banks fizzed a free kick at Jones, but McDonald did enough to cut it out and see it off. And McDonald had to block again when Barry went long to find Quigley. The centre back put his leg out to stop the shot just as the striker surged into the 18-yard box.
Keeper Paul Farman was out swiflty to take the ball off Chris Taylor when he was played through by Quigley moments later, and it was good work from the big stopper who was the last line of defence.
The visitors thought they'd equalised on 72 minutes when Guy picked out Hayden with an excellent free kick. The big centre back found space and he tried to guide it into the near corner with a cushioned 10-yard header, with Dixon wrong-footed. It appeared to be going in but it crept agonisingly past the upright.
There was half an opening for James Jones at the other end when a clearance from a throw ricocheted wickedly. The Barrow man had the goal at his mercy but he miskicked the effort and it went into the stands.
Carlisle were awarded a penalty with just over ten minutes left to go when Zanzala got goal side of James Jones as he angled a run into the box. The forward went down, the ref blew his whistle, and Offrande Zanzala made it five goals in 10 games with a calmly taken strike from the spot.
Farman beat away a thunderbolt from James when he let fly through bodies with the game right in the balance, and United probed when they recovered possession with the ball being moved from left to right. Anderton feinted to cross, Toure took over, but his pull back evaded everybody.
There was a vital touch from the hand of Dixon late in the day when Toure gave the ball to Patrick out wide. The delivery looked perfect for Zanzala until the keeper intervened.
The orange shirts camped forward and Toure spread it for Alessandra to deliver. It fell to Patrick, but he saw it late and his close-range volley was right at Dixon.
It had been an intriguing battle, and neither side could find the decisive ending to the game with the bragging rights shared as the final whistle blew.
Barrow - Quigley (19), Brough (24)
Carlisle United - Armer (3), Zanzala (79 pen)
Barrow - Eardley (29), Quigley (73)
Carlisle United - Armer (30), Tanner (52), Mellish (66)
Barrow - Dixon, Brough, Quigley, Jones, Ntlhe, Barry, C Taylor (Beadling 80), Eardley (c) (J Taylor), Thomas, James, Banks (Andrew 81). Subs - Maloney (gk), Kay, Sea.
Carlisle United - Farman, Tanner (Anderton 62), Hayden (c), McDonald, Armer (Devine 90), Riley (Toure 62), Guy, Mellish, Alessandra, Zanzala, Patrick. Subs - Norman (gk), Charters, Furman, Walker.
Referee - Sebastian Stockbridge
Assistant Referee 1 - Richard Woodward
Assistant Referee 2 - Paul Stonier
Fourth Official - Steven Copeland
Observer - Mark Haywood
Attendance - BCD