FOR the second time this season the boot of Glen Weightman delivered the decisive blow as Carlisle narrowly edged out Kirkby Lonsdale, this time courtesy of a last-gasp penalty.
Despite outscoring their Cumbrian rivals with tries from Alan Robinson and replacement Matt Belshaw, Weightman delivered the killer blow late on as Lee Brumpton scored Carlisle’s only try.
Kirkby started the brighter with the Underley Park side looking to bring wingers Jack Dickinson and Sam Latu into play, although Carlisle secured an early advantage.
Weightman kicked the home side into the lead after a number of reset scrums following a sustained period of Carlisle forward pressure.
The hosts enjoyed scrum supremacy during this encounter and when Kirkby were penalised after struggling to deal with a strong drive from a line-out, Carlisle kicked to touch five metres out.
A clean catch led to a driving maul with skipper Bobby Sherlock carrying the ball full distance before offloading to number eight Brumpton to cross the line, with Weightman converting.
Strong play from Stuart Storey saw the flanker power through a number of Carlisle tackles after half an hour, laying the foundations for Kirkby’s first try.
Although the initial danger was cleared, Kirkby ran the ball back with Dickinson prominent in a move which culminated in Robinson scoring out wide on the left flank.
Tom Pickthall missed a difficult conversion although the game was finely poised at break with the scoreline 10-5 in the Warwick Road club’s favour.
Five minutes into the second period the away side were level, half-time substitute Belshaw the man on the spot after replacing Latu on the right wing.
Belshaw out-sprinted the covering defence to meet Dave Barton’s neat kick and score by the right corner flag, with another difficult conversion drifting narrowly wide.
Already difficult conditions then worsened in the second period, although Carlisle hooker Tom Graham used his power to good effect, as a Weightman missed a further penalty.
With scrum-half Ben Walker leaving the field injured, Kirkby utilised their remaining replacements Sam Chesney-Benson and Matt Hoyland although the scores remained locked with a draw looking the most favourable outcome.
However, in the latter stages of the game, Kirkby were penalised for a ruck offence in the centre of the field, 15 metres from the Kirkby posts.
This allowed Weightman – the second best kicker in the division with 29 successful penalty kicks contributing to a season’s points total of 129 – to slot over the penalty and secure Carlisle’s narrow victory.
A bonus point keeps Kirkby’s tally moving in the right direction although Warrington’s defeat of Leigh sees the Cheshire side leapfrog Kirkby into seventh place in League North One West.
Kirkby Lonsdale: James Law, Dan Armistead, Tim Groves, Matt Hughes (c), Simon Dowker, Alan Robinson, Stuart Storey, Craig Galbraith, Ben Walker, Dave Barton, Jack Dickinson, Jack Akrigg, Tom Pickthall, Sam Latu, Martyn Knapton. Replacements: Sam Chesney-Benson, Matt Hoyland, Matt Belshaw