Kirkby Lonsdale 32
North One West
KIRKBY Lonsdale picked up their fourth win of the season as they beat bottom club Manchester to move up to ninth in North One West.
Kirkby got exactly the start they wanted as the ball was moved along the backs to Beltran Orrega-Luca on the left wing, who from around the halfway line ran through two would-be tacklers to score by the posts. Liam Cleary converted to make it 7-0 inside the first 10 minutes.
Kirkby didn't consolidate though and played an undisciplined period where a sequence of penalties handed the initiative to Manchester. It took the home side to the Kirkby line where, in the midst of desperate defence, Kirkby prop Tim Groves was yellow carded. A man down Kirkby regrouped and hung on under intense pressure until Manchester were penalised for crossing and Kirkby escaped without conceding a score.
With normal service resumed Kirkby's outside centre Tom Pickthall took a pass just inside his own half and set off on a jinking run which cut through most of the home defence. He was pulled down just short of the line but flanker Stu Storey was on hand to get the ball down for Kirkby's second try midway through the half to go 12-0 up.
The next try was a solo effort from Ben Walker after Kirkby caught a lineout just inside their half. On the right, Walker took the ball and ran through the lineout into space down the wing and outpaced the cover to score by the corner flag. Cleary's well-struck conversion failed but there was now clear water between the teams at 17-0.
This was muddied slightly when the Manchester standoff and captain Richard McCartney set off on a looping run from 30 metres out, evading tackles and scoring in the right corner to pull Manchester back into the game at 17-5.
Kirkby restored the margin with a second try from number seven Storey after Kirkby had assaulted the Manchester line with a sequence of scrums and drives. From a jumble of bodies Storey appeared with the ball to score the bonus point try and take a 22-5 lead into half time.
As the second half began Kirkby had an early chance as they attacked inside the Manchester 22, Cleary just failing to find Storey on the right wing with Orrega-Luca outside him.
But Cleary was back on target a few moments later with a good penalty which extended Kirkby's lead to 25-5.
Manchester began to play a tighter game focused around their back row. They began to establish some platform in the match and as they pressed for the Kirkby line number six Richard Murray was more than a little reckless at a ruck and yellow-carded.
As the half developed Kirkby lost their way a little and got drawn into a more attritional type of game as Manchester scored a second try without conversion to make it 25-10.
The killer blow for Kirkby was delivered via centre Tom Pickthall from another eye-catching run which Cleary converted as Kirkby extended their lead to 32-10.
Manchester scored a third disputed try to bring the score back to 32-15, but Kirkby had done enough to earn five points from the tie as they prepare to entertain table-toppers Sale this Saturday.