Kirkby Lonsdale cannot stop the Liverpool St Helens machine with defeat at Underley Park

Kirkby Lonsdale 9

Liverpool St Helens 40

North One West

LEAGUE leaders Liverpool St Helens continued their march towards the title as Kirkby Lonsdale failed to stop the visitors from scoring six tries.

Kirkby made the brightest start as they took the game to the Saints. Josh Pewsey and Jack Akrigg made penetrating runs and Saints were hanging on in the early part of the match during which Kirkby drove over but were held up, and from the resulting scrum stand off Liam Cleary opted for a drop goal and a 3-0 lead.

Saints appeared on the scoresheet when their number 10 Greg Smith dummied and ran an angle from the home 22 which split the defence for a try but an easy conversion was missed to leave the score at 5-3 to the away side.

Cleary kicked a penalty as Kirkby regained the lead 6-5 but Saints were settling, and the ominous signs came true when St Helens scored their second try as their pack drove over, Smith converting to make the score 12-6.

The balance of the game was shifting and it went further Saints’ way when influential number six Phil Kearns grounded the ball at the foot of a post for a converted try to extend the visitors lead to 19-6.

Kirkby closed the gap when Saints were caught offside as Tom Pickthall kicked a penalty to make the half time score 19-9.

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Kirkby started the second half brightly, moving the ball and running into opposition territory, but Saints left wing Jake Hodson intercepted a pass to a two-man overlap and instead of Kirkby running in the try, Hodson had the pace to go from well inside his own half to score under the posts for the visitors - the try converted to make it 26-9.

Saints were enjoying their best spell of the match and scored their fifth try when slick handling and passing stretched Kirkby and put Saints right wing Neil Hull over for a converted try.

As the final whistle approached Kirkby were still giving it everything but Saints had the last say when full back Ian Stanley got on the end of a move to cut through and score a converted try which took the final score to 40-9.

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