Warrington 24-22 Kirkby Lonsdale: Rams battle but suffer last-gasp defeat at Warrington (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Warrington 24-22 Kirkby Lonsdale: Rams battle but suffer last-gasp defeat at Warrington
A LAST-GASP Pat Roberts penalty secured Warrington’s first win of the season as Kirkby Lonsdale once again suffered a late hammer blow in a closely-fought contest.
Matt Hughes, Johnas Thorsen, Dave Barton and Stuart Storey all crossed the line for the visitors who were moments away from securing back-to-back wins after success against Birkenhead Park last time out.
However, Roberts’ kicking was a constant thorn on the Rams’ side and ultimately proved decisive after tries from Jake Ashall and Stuart Pilkington.
In contrast, missed kicking opportunities were a feature of the match for Kirkby who can take solace from recording more bonus points than any other team in the division after five games.
Kirkby made a bright start to proceedings with skipper Hughes crashing over to score an unconverted try within two minutes after aggressive forwards play inside the Warrington twenty-two.
The home side’s response was instant with open-side flanker Ashall taking advantage of a handling error to score a simple try with Roberts making no mistake with the conversion.
Roberts extended the Warrington lead with a further penalty before debutant Sam Latu made his mark on proceedings by laying on Kirkby’s second try.
Playing on the right-wing, the Australian sliced through the home side’s defence before the ball was worked back infield where prop Thorsen powered over the line under the posts.
A successful conversion meant Kirkby had a narrow two-point lead, an advantage they maintained until half-time despite the sin-binning of number eight Craig Galbraith.
The Underley Park outfit tightened their stranglehold on proceedings ten minutes into the second period, fly-half Barton incepting a Warrington attack with the conversion taking the score to 17-10.
Warrington came into the fixture having suffered defeats on the road to Birkenhead Park, Vale of Lune, Carlisle and Kendal so far this season with a maiden victory at this level proving elusive.
However, Roberts reduced the deficit by three points after a Kirkby infringement at the breakdown, with a further penalty after a period of pressure taking Warrington to within a point.
Hughes was off the pitch at this stage after being sin-binned although Kirkby took full advantage of flanker Josh Riley suffering a similar fate.
Storey was Kirkby’s star man as the Rams toppled the league’s leading lights Birkenhead Park last week and scored the away side’s vital bonus point try to establish a 22-16 lead.
With less than ten minutes remaining, the Walton Lea Road club showed their resilience and set-up a tense finale as Tom Wood played in winger Pilkington to score in the corner.
The conversion was missed which meant Kirkby led by a solitary point but with only two minutes remaining, the concession of a penalty gave Roberts the opportunity to steal victory.
The scrum-half duly obliged with Warrington snatching the win, denying Kirkby a five-point haul which had looked likely for the vast majority of the afternoon.
Kirkby Lonsdale: Johnas Thorsen, Jack Konczynski, Tim Groves, Matt Hughes (c), Simon Dowker, Jack Benson, Stuart Storey, Craig Galbraith, Ben Walker, Dave Barton, Matt Belshaw, Jack Akrigg, Tom Pickthall, Sam Latu, Tom Slater. Replacements: Chris Hewitt, Dan Armistead, Lewis Horner
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