Kirkby Lonsdale in pole position to avoid the drop after edging local derby (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Kirkby Lonsdale in pole position to avoid the drop after edging local derby
9:30am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in Rugby
Kirkby Lonsdale 10
Vale of Lune 9
North One West
KIRKBY Lonsdale consolidated their position in the league with a fantastic win over promotion seeking local rivals Vale Of Lune at Underley Park.
Kirkby are now 11 points ahead of Anselmians, who occupy the final relegation spot in North One West, and with four games remaining they could all but secure their place in the league next season with victory at home to second-from-bottom Manchester on Saturday.
Scrum half Ben Walker and Dave Barton at stand off controlled the game against Vale of Lune and kept Kirkby on the front foot while forwards and backs tackled everything that moved.
The first try came from a scrum near the Vale line when Walker picked up and in typical fashion darted through the cover to score an unconverted try as Kirkby drew first blood.
Vale kicked a penalty shortly after the try to make it 5-3 but Walker extended the lead to 10-3 with his second try in a half in which Kirkby didn't have their kicking boots on. Seven points went begging thanks to two missed conversions and a fluffed penalty.
In the second half Vale picked up two yellow cards but they did kick a penalty to close the gap to 10-6. Kirkby failed to make the most of the two extra men on the field as they continued to miss several chances to move further ahead.
With around 15 minutes to play, Vale kicked their third penalty to sit right on Kirkby's tail at 10-9 and anything was possible, leaving Kirkby nerves jangling.
Having had so much of the play it would have been a travesty if Kirkby had lost but the defence from forwards and backs alike was formidable as Kirkby thwarted every Vale move to try to win the game.
And there were jubilant scenes when the final whistle came as the Underley Park outfit celebrated a famous victory that gives their survival prospects an enormous and timely boost.