WIRRAL kicked off on a gloomy day on Merseyside and the first few minutes of the game were a midfield stalemate, with each side probing but neither able to make much progress when in possession.

But the stalemate was broken after 10 minutes when Scott Armstrong picked up where he left off last week, taking a pass on half way and running through to score by the posts, with Mike Fearon’s conversion extending the lead to7-0.

Then some kind of collective amnesia seemed to overcome Kirkby, a kind of walkabout period only an Aborigine might have understood.

A gap appeared and Wirral strolled through for a try with 17 minutes played, and to add to the malaise Kirkby’s restart kick didn’t go ten so it was ball back to Wirral with a scrum in the centre – and two minutes later they were in again to score a try and take the lead at 12-7.

Again Kirkby’s restart didn’t go ten, and with possession from the scrum Wirral scored another converted try. And in the space of ten minutes the hosts had a handy 19-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Kirkby did show signs of waking up on the half hour, with a try from winger Harry Huddleston converted by full back Ryan Terry to make it 19-14, and then Terry was on target again with an excellent penalty from around forty metres to close the gap to 19-17, which remained the score at half time.

Two minutes into the second half, though, Wirral slotted a penalty to open the gap again – and four minutes later they scored an unconverted try to extend their lead to 27-17 as the game seemed to be slipping away from Kirby.

But the Underley Park men found some form and began to dominate play and as 70 mintes approached Terry was back on the score sheet with a try in the right corner. His touchline conversion shaved the wrong side of the post but there were only five points in it at 27-22.

Throughout this period Wirral were picking up injuries left, right and centre, and there were lots of stoppages – including a change of boots as the clock ran down.

Kirkby had possession, attacking positions and chances to win the game but they didn’t take them, and on forty minutes with Kirkby battering the line there was another lengthy stoppage for a Wirral injury which took play into time added on. But when play recommenced the whistle went and somehow Wirral had hung on.

In the last quarter Kirkby were unable to convert their pressure into points that would have won the game, and the case could also be made that the game was lost during the ‘walkabout’ period in the first half.

Final Score: Wirral 27 Kirkby Lonsdale 22

But results elsewhere and the losing bonus point Kirkby picked up mean they started the day in eighth position in the league and finished it in seventh – with a very tough test awaiting next week at home to Blaydon.