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Kirkby Lonsdale 10-13 Carlisle
DESPITE a second period revival, Kirkby Lonsdale were unable to overturn a first-half deficit as Carlisle edged a tight match to record their maiden away win of the season.
The visitors did the damage in the opening 40 minutes, scoring all their points thanks to a Rich Sowerby try and the boot of Glen Weightman.
The second-half was a different story with Jack Dickinson crossing the line for the home side, with late drama seeing a last-gasp Josh Maddock penalty drift agonisingly wide.
Both sides had to contend with injuries and absentees with Kirkby showing a number of positional changes while Carlisle were without skipper Bobby Sherlock and leading try-scorer Karim Moulaem.
Carlisle struck first after only 90 seconds, Weightman making the most of a ruck infringement to kick the away side into an early three-point lead.
The fly half looked to play a territorial game and pin Kirby in their own half with an aerial bombardment, with breaks from Jack Akrigg and Sam Latu relieving the pressure.
Paul Halliday and Ryan Feeney were competing well in the line-out, with Carlisle extending their lead from a set-piece after Weightman fed new signing Jarred Stewart following ball off the top.
Stewart burst through the Kirkby line, with quick ball from the ruck finding Halliday who made yards before offloading to second partner Sowerby to power over the line.
Weightman converted and added a penalty before the half-time whistle to extend the lead to 13-0 at the break, with Kirkby keen to take advantage of the wind in the second-half.
Looking to build on their previous win at Underley Park over leading lights Birkenhead Park, the home side failed to generate any sustained momentum after the interval.
However, Maddock – assuming kicking duties with Tom Pickthall off the field injured – reduced the arrears with a successfully kicked penalty.
Kirkby were now stringing together some encouraging attacking moves although mistakes ultimately cost the Rams try-scoring opportunities and a foothold in the game.
The hosts established greater influence as the game wore on with improved ball possession, eventually breaching a previously solid Carlisle defence.
Midway through the half, young winger Dickinson managed to reach over the line following a tackle despite protestations by the visitors of a double movement.
Maddock’s conversion took Kirkby to within three points with 20 minutes remaining although Kirkby failed to make the most of attacking situations as the clocked ticked down.
With the Rams throwing everything at Carlisle, it looked as though the visitors would hang on for a hard-fought victory until the concession of a late penalty.
With only seconds left on the clock, scrum half Tim Hughes was adjudged offside and penalised, although Maddock pulled his kick wide of the posts.
In the end Kirkby once again missed out in a close encounter and had to be content with a losing bonus point.
Carlisle recovered from last week’s heavy home loss to Kendal although remain a place off bottom despite recording their second success of the campaign.
Kirkby Lonsdale: Johnas Thorsen, Dan Armistead, Chris Hewitt, Simon Dowker, Matt Hughes (c), Jack Konczynski, Stuart Storey, Craig Galbraith, Ben Walker, Jack Akrigg, Matt BElshaw, Sam Latu, Tom Pickthall, Jack Dickinson, Chris Ramwell. Replacements: Matt Hoyland, Josh MAddock, Tosh Shepherd
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