Kirkby Lonsdale fightback rescues crucial points for relegation battle (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Kirkby Lonsdale fightback rescues crucial points for relegation battle
Kirkby Lonsdale 10
North One West
KIRKBY Lonsdale edged two points nearer to safety when they fought back from 10-0 down to salvage a draw against in-form Leigh.
It was bitterly cold as Kirkby kicked off against the elements and a confident Leigh side opened the scoring with an early unconverted try to take a 5-0 lead.
The balance in the game was even with both sides enjoying periods of possession and opportunity but there was no further score in the first period as Leigh enjoyed a five-point lead at half time.
Kirkby caught the restart and banged the ball down the pitch. Leigh ran it back and as the move broke down near the Kirkby line, Kirkby came up with the ball but the clearance kick was charged down, and Leigh dived to score their second try close to the posts. Somehow the conversion was missed but Leigh had doubled their advantage.
Straightaway the Cumbrians pinned Leigh down in the home 22, forwards and backs combining to close Leigh down whenever they had the ball.
Under pressure it was almost inevitable Leigh would yield a penalty and when it came centre Tom Pickthall coolly struck it between the posts, to make it 10-3.
Leigh flickered briefly in the second half but in the face of an immense performance by Kirkby they could not impose themselves on the game.
Ben Walker was a constant threat at scrum half and young Tom Slater, a product of the Kirkby youth academy and now with an England Colleges call up against Wales, kept the game moving from stand off.
Jack Akrigg and Tom Pickthall penetrated and covered in the centre while teenage wings Josh Pewsey and Josh Maddock were lively, as was full back Robert Horsefall.
In the closing stages Kirkby were dominant. A long range penalty slid by but the reward for the huge effort came when Dan Armistead crashed over for a try. It was not an easy conversion but Tom Pickthall struck it dead centre to tie the scores at 10-10 as they prepare for the visit of local rivals Vale of Lune on Saturday.