Kirkby Lonsdale lose tight Cumbrian derby over Carlisle

First published in Sport The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Carlisle 19

Kirkby Lonsdale 8

North One West

TAKING chances was the only difference between these two sides as third-placed Carlisle emerged triumphant in the Cumbrian derby.

Kirkby had an early penalty but were unable to gain from the advantage, while Carlisle's first penetrating move came after 10 minutes when a short pass split the Kirkby defence and put their runner clear with only the full back to beat, but young Tom Slater put in one of the tackles of the day and the danger was cleared.

As the game developed the home side were beginning to find some form and created an overlap down their left wing which looked certain to score, but the final pass was forward and the teams remained locked together.

Midway through the first half Weightman was again in the action, evading a couple of tackles on a looping run which took him near the right corner flag and this time he was on target to convert his own try to edge Carlisle ahead 7-0.

Kirkby were in the game though, Ben Walker putting in a kick down the right for winger Martyn Knapton to chase, and this led to a period of pressure 10 metres from the Carlisle line which Kirkby couldn’t profit from.

With 10 minutes left Carlisle struck again. An attack was halted but they got the ball out of the tackle to good support running which took them over for their second try. The kick was in almost the same position as the earlier conversion and Weightman obliged to stretch the home side’s lead to 14-0.

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Almost on half time came the moment which probably turned the game. From a Kirkby attack in which most players were committed the ball went loose, Carlisle got a boot to it, and the hunt was on. For Kirkby Ed Towers was the chaser and by a short head he was first to the ball as it stopped just short of the line, but he had overrun it by a fraction and as he went to ground the ball squirmed out from under him. In a welter of arms, bodies, legs from both sides, the referee awarded Carlisle a try near the corner flag.

The conversion was missed to make it 19-0 at half time.

Kirkby kicked off the second half and maintained play in the Carlisle half. The scrum had found some stability and Kirkby were putting the home side under pressure when Cleary was taken out for a second time with a high tackle. This time he slotted the penalty for 19-3.

Carlisle enjoyed a brief period of play in Kirkby territory but could not break through and as their discipline wavered Carlisle’s Barry Earl was yellow-carded for stamping.

The penalty to touch put Kirkby back on the offensive and Cleary floated a beautifully weighted kick crossfield into space near the left corner flag where winger Jack Dickinson scored as Kirkby reduced their arrears to 19-8.

Kirkby missed another penalty opportunity and slung everything at Carlisle but they couldn't find a way through.

In the final quarter Slater shepherded the ball over the halfway line and threw quickly to Towers, who burst down the left and into the Carlisle 22. There was support on the inside but the move broke down, and Kirkby were unable to claim a bonus point from the game.

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