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Kirkby Lonsdale 41-17 Leigh
DAVE BARTON continued his impressive recent try-scoring form as Kirkby Lonsdale ran in six tries to brush aside winless Leigh at Underley Park.
Further touchdowns by Ben Walker, Martyn Knapton, Tom Slater and Sam Latu secured a bonus point victory for the Rams as Leigh replied with three tries of their own.
A total of seven changes were made from the Kirkby side defeated at Vale of Lune the previous week, with Chris Hewitt, Richard Hodgson, Lewis Horner and Phil Lequeux all drafted in.
Dan Armistead – assuming kicking duties in the continued absence of Tom Pickthall – gave the home side a three-point lead with a penalty as young full-back Slater impressed during the early stages.
Craig Galbraith was side-binned shortly after Leigh were restored to full strength only for Walker to cut through the visiting defence on 22 minutes for an unconverted try after a tap and go penalty.
Kirkby were on the front foot and scored again on the half-hour mark as Barton collected an offload from Australian centre Latu to cross the line, with Armistead converting.
Leigh avoided defeat for the first this season against Kendal at Powerhouse Lane last time out and enjoyed a period of possession before reducing the deficit with an unconverted try.
However, the respite was short-lived as the Rams reasserted themselves when livewire winger Knapton ran in their third try of the afternoon, taking the half-time score to 20-5.
Barton and Walker were having a positive influence on the game and the latter’s jinking run set-up a bonus point try for the hosts.
Walker made progress into the Leigh twenty-two before finding Slater in support, with Armistead adding a further two points with a successful conversion.
This lead was extended to 34-5 shortly afterwards with the award of a penalty try following a scrum offence with Armistead’s kicking radar once again on the money.
Despite being in the ascendency, the hosts allowed their opponents back into the game with Leigh scoring a converted try while Armistead was sin-binned as the arrears were reduced to 34-12.
As the game wore on, stand-in skipper Jack Akrigg limped off with an ankle knock, with Pickthall coming off the bench and playing out time with no apparent difficulties.
After Leigh scored a further converted try, Kirkby introduced fresh legs with Johnas Thorsen and James Law taking the field as Galbraith moved to flanker and Stuart Story to number eight.
This move steadied the ship and the Rams soon delivered the knockout blow, Latu crashing over the line to score Kirkby’s sixth try after being found by Barton.
Armistead’s conversion completed the scoring with the five points gained from this fixture moving the home side to eighth in the league table, leapfrogging Warrington and Liverpool St. Helens in the process.
Prior to kick-off only Carlisle and Leigh had scored fewer points this campaign, with the margin of victory also improving the Rams’ point difference statistics.
Kirkby Lonsdale: Chris Hewitt, Dan Armistead, Tim Groves, Richard Hodgson, Simon Dowker, Lewis Horner, Stuart Storey, Craig Galbraith, Ben Walker, Dave Barton, Martyn Knapton, Sam Latu, Jack Akrigg (c), Phil Lequeux, Tom Slater. Replacements: James Law, Johnas Thorsen, Tom Pickthall
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