Rugby Union: Kirkby Lonsdale 46-12 Widnes

Rugby Union: Kirkby Lonsdale 46-12 Widnes

Rugby Union: Kirkby Lonsdale 46-12 Widnes

First published in Sport by , Reporter

RYAN Holmes came out of retirement to produce a stirring display as Kirkby Lonsdale showcased their attacking brand of rugby to dispatch third-placed Widnes and return to winning ways.

Dan Armistead and Dave Barton crossed the line in the opening period while two Tom Pickthall penalties gave the Underley Park outfit a commanding 20-point lead at the break.

A penalty try added to touchdowns from Sam Latu, Stuart Storey and Sam Chesney-Benson in the second-half as Sheldon Johnson and Phil Glover replied for the visitors.

Kirkby welcomed back Latu and Barton from the team which lost at Broughton Park in their last outing, while Holmes started in the front row at one.

The home side secured an early advantage as Simon Dowker charged for the line before looping a short pass to the supporting Armistead to score under the posts, as Pickthall converted.

There was more to come from the hosts as scrum-half Ben Walker cut through the Widnes defence on halfway before finding Barton who cantered over, with Pickthall adding a further two points.

Fly-half Barton was having a greater influence on the game but shortly afterwards the 27-year-old had to be replaced after suffering suspected knee ligament damage.

This forced Kirkby into a reshuffle with Jack Akrigg moving to ten and Latu into the centre while Josh Maddocks took the field and occupied the vacant wing slot.

The loss of Barton failed to derail the home side’s momentum as Pickthall successfully kicked two penalties before the half-time whistle following Widnes infringements.

Despite being a man light after Dowker received a yellow card late in the first-half, Kirkby had the opening chance of the second period only for Pickthall’s penalty to miss the target.

But they were not to be denied for long as Latu intercepted a pass on the halfway line before outpacing the covering defence to score under the posts, as Pickthall converted.

Shortly afterwards Widnes made the scoresheet as space was created on the left flank for young colt Johnson to cross the line although Glover’s conversion drifted wide.

Kirkby hit back with the move of the match as play was eventually switched left for Storey to burst through the Widnes defence, with Pickthall once again converting.

Their fourth try not only signalled a bonus point but it was also memorable as almost every player in a Kirkby jersey touched the ball at least once in the move.

Holmes was having an impressive game – solid in the set-piece while also strong in the tackle – before the prop received a yellow card.

And the away side took full advantage of their extra man with Gareth Riley finding Glover for a consolation try as Kevin Leadbetter converted.

Kirkby were awarded a penalty try with 15 minutes remaining after a Widnes hand knocked away a try-scoring pass with Pickthall again proving deadly accurate with the boot.

The final touchdown of the game was an enterprising solo effort from Chesney-Benson following the breakdown of a Widnes attack in Kirkby territory, although Pickthall’s conversion missed the target.

Kirkby Lonsdale: Ryan Holmes, Dan Armistead, Tim Groves, Simon Dowker, Matt Hughes (c), John Whittaker, Stuart Storey, Craig Galbraith, Ben Walker, Dave Barton, Martyn Knapton, Jack Akrigg, Tom Pickthall, Sam Latu, Ryan Terry. Replacements: Sam Chesney-Benson, Josh Maddocks, Jack Benson

 

 

 

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