Kirkby Lonsdale 30
North One West
KIRKBY Lonsdale came from behind with a stirring second half performance to earn themselves a win with a four-try bonus point.
Kirkby had the early initiative by pressing into the Fleetwood half and when the visitors didn't roll away from a tackle, Kirkby stand off Liam Cleary put the ball into touch down the left 10 metres out. Kirkby didn't get clean ball from the lineout but kept the pressure on and as they attacked down the left skipper Matt Hughes offloaded brilliantly to number eight Tosh Shepherd, who ran outside and scored near the flag to put the Cumbrians 5-0 up after eight minutes.
Fleetwood levelled when their centre Tom Wilson evaded a couple of tackles as he burst up the centre of the field. The ball was moved to left wing Craig Cowley in space, who had a clear run for the line and all the defence could do was steer him out to the left corner flag to add difficulty to the conversion, which was missed.
This settled the visitors, who put together some neat passages of play so it was a relief when they were penalised for offside and Cleary slotted a difficult kick to restore the lead at 8-5.
But the lead didn’t last long. Fleetwood’s back division launched an attack from well inside their own half involving good handling, passing and running which opened Kirkby up and led to a second try for the quick Cowley as Fleetwood led 10-8 going into half time.
Kirkby got the start they wanted in the second half when pressure near the Fleetwood line involving the battling front row of Chris Hewitt, Dan Armistead and Tim Groves saw the latter crash over for the second try, Cleary adding the extras from out wide to put Kirkby’s noses in front at 15-10.
Under pressure Fleetwood were losing discipline and their centre Adam Crisp was sin-binned after hitting a ruck from the side. Cleary was once again on target with the penalty to put the home side ahead 18-10.
Breaking out of defence centres Jack Akrigg and Tom Pickthall ran into Fleetwood territory and moved the ball to left wing Josh Maddock, who broke through the first tackle but was eventually hauled down just short of the line.
The pressure was on and as Kirkby’s forwards recycled possession the Cumbrians’ back line swept onto the attack and this time there was no stopping Maddock as he scored Kirkby's third try, converted to stretch the lead to 25-10 as the game moved into the final quarter.
The Underley Park side made changes and Fleetwood began to besiege the Kirkby line, but the home side’s well-organised and courageous defence ensured no points were added for the visitors.
Around 10 metres out Kirkby mauled towards the line as they looked for the fourth try and from a ruck, scrum half Ben Walker picked up, dummied and touched down to make it 30-10.
Chris Hewitt, Dan Armistead, Tim Groves, Craig Galbraith, Matt Hughes (c), Jack Konczynski, Stuart Storey, Tosh Shepherd, Andy Crimmins, Liam Cleary, Josh Maddock, Tom Pickthall, Jack Akrigg, Martyn Knapton, Ben Walker
Replacements: Ryan Holmes, Simon Dowker, Robert Horsfall
Smith, Lilley, Corless, Benny, Hart, Kelsall, Stephenson, Ford, Evans, Riches, Cowley, Wilson, Crisp, Phillips, Reville.
Replacements: Turnpenny, Pye, Carney.