KIRKBY Lonsdale suffered defeat at the hands of well-established side Rossendale in the Northern Premier Division at the weekend.

In elevation there is the question about when does a hill become a mountain. There could also be a question about when does a slope become a hill but whatever it was Kirkby kicked off down it at the Marl Pits ground.

Rossendale went offside and from around thirty metres Kirkby full back Ryan Terry made it 0 – 3 after four minutes play, Terry was to go on and have an excellent game catching every high ball that came his way, putting in attacking runs and making every kick at goal bar one.

Rossendale got into the game when they put a penalty to touch down their right and ten metres or so from the Kirkby line. Drives were held although Rossendale retained possession, taking play in field and then opening it up down the backs to their exciting young left winger Leon Simpson who got the ball down in the corner, no conversion and it was 5 – 3 after twelve minutes.

A high tackle gave Kirkby a penalty, Terry making it to edge them back in front 5 – 6.

Kirkby had possession from a lineout and attacked the Rossendale line, young left wing Harry Huddleston had tracked play infield where he scooped up a loose ball, spotted a gap and was through it, jinking a tackle to score under the posts, the knock over conversion extending Kirkby’s lead to 5 – 13 at the end of the first quarter.

Rossendale then stole a Kirkby lineout and the visitors were penalised for tackling the catcher in the air, the home number ten Lewis Allen slotting the kick to make it 8 – 13 after twenty seven minutes.

Back came Kirkby pummelling the home line and recycling several times until prop Tyran Fagan was driven over for the second try, Terry’s conversion making it 8 – 20 on the half hour. The same player then put in a run for the line, he was held but Rossendale infringed in the tackle, Terry then kicked the penalty to make the half time score 8 – 23.

At that point things were looking reasonably good for Kirkby as they turned round with a fifteen points lead.

Although in answer to the question above, a slope becomes a hill when you are playing up it and with the strong Rossendale side playing down it would fifteen points be enough.

As the home side Rossendale were very tactically aware of the advantage they now had and poured forward and after six minutes Kirkby’s Kwiczor picked up a yellow card for going off his feet at a ruck.

Rossendale kicked the penalty to touch, Kirkby initially held the drives but Rossendale had the momentum and were able to drive their number two Jack Wilkinson over between the sticks.

The kick closed the gap to 15 – 23 after ten minutes of the half and moments later this became 18 – 23 when Rossendale kicked a penalty taking good advantage of their time with the extra man.

A penalty kick at goal shaved the post on the wrong side and Kirkby didn’t score and this, alongside a number of try scoring chances which weren’t taken during this attacking period, probably cost Kirkby the game and kept Rossendale in it as the game went into the final quarter.

Kirkby still had a five points lead so possession from the throw was everything but they threw long. The throw wasn’t straight and Rossendale had the possession they were looking for with a scrum which put them on the attack and Kirkby on the defence during which Kwiczor picked up his second yellow when he went offside, the resulting red card taking him out of the match, a huge bonus for the home side.

Fourteen men on both sides then, Kirkby reshuffled but the Rossendale pack was complete and they opted for a scrum in front of the posts, it was a mess so reset for another put in.

Kirkby were down to thirteen following a yellow for Tyran Fagan with, crucially, two forwards off the field as the next scrum was set and the inevitable was only a few moments away.

Rossendale drove against a weakened pack which yielded a penalty try, the seven points taking them into a 25 – 23 lead well into injury time. Winger Simpson who raced away for a try in the forty seventh minute of the half.

This unbalanced the score at 30 – 23 in Rossendale’s favour since the conversion was missed on the final whistle but the result did give Kirkby a losing bonus point which keeps them in the top half of the table.