'Man of the Match by far': Skipper Matt Hughes praises increasing influence of fly-half Dave Barton

The Westmorland Gazette: 'Man of the Match by far': Skipper Matt Hughes praises increasing influence of fly-half Dave Barton 'Man of the Match by far': Skipper Matt Hughes praises increasing influence of fly-half Dave Barton

FOLLOWING the latest in a series of impressive performances, Kirkby Lonsdale skipper Matt Hughes has praised the ever-increasing influence of fly-half Dave Barton.

The Underley Park side produced a spirited performance against league leaders Wirral at the weekend, only losing by seven points with Barton’s two tries contributing to a losing bonus point.

And Hughes is firmly of the view that Kirkby are reaping the benefits of fielding a settled side on a more regular basis.

“Dave was our man of the match by far – both his tries were individual efforts and he took them both really well as nothing else looked on when he took those opportunities,” he said.

“He’s been brilliant and gets better every game. He had an injury at the start of the season and missed a couple of games but since then he has thrived.

“We’re now getting some consistency by putting a similar team out every week which is what we struggled with at the start of season, chopping and changing due to injuries.

“But nine, ten, 12 and 13 have been the same week in, week out which makes a different to the backline and the forwards are fairly solid now as well.”

Kirkby entertain Altrincham Kersal this Saturday with Hughes’s participation in doubt after an unsavoury incident against Wirral left the second-row forward requiring hospital treatment.

But with eyes fixed on a fourth successive home win, the 29-year-old insists there are plenty of positives to take into the game after their showing at the Memorial Ground.

“My face was stamped on following a line-out on our line and I spent a few hours in A&E getting stitched up – I have nine stitches in my nose and three in my lip,” he added.

“We’ve not made a decision yet about my availability for Saturday, that will be made either tonight or tomorrow but it depends how things heel.

“The lads though were brilliant against Wirral, every single one of them.

“We had all the pressure in the first-half but went in level at the break, they then hammered us in the opening stages of the second period but we stuck at it.

“It’s one of those where we look back and we’re disappointed to come away with just a losing bonus point.”

 

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