THIS was not a league fixture and it was not full first team status, but as the coronavirus pandemic is now under some degree of control, it was, at last, rugby - as Kirkby Lonsdale drew 14-14 against Upper Eden last Saturday.

A friendly fixture with the eighty minutes split into four twenty minute quarters at Eden’s Pennine Park ground which was baked in sunshine as the game kicked off.

Kirkby probably had their best fifteen on the park and they applied the early pressure.

From a Kirkby scrum around ten metres away from the Eden line, the ball went to skipper Ben Walker, playing at ten, who dummied through a gap in typical, sniping fashion to power over by the posts, converting his own try to make the score 0 – 7.

Eden were well in the game particularly through their forwards but as they took play into the Kirkby half a pass was intercepted by Kirkby’s Harry Huddleston playing at 13 and it was then a one-horse race as 'Huddy' sprinted from the halfway line to score between the posts. Walker's conversion taking the score to 0 – 14.

The third and fourth quarters probably belonged to Eden as Kirkby made player substitutions making sure everybody got a taste of the action.

During these periods, Eden ran in a couple of converted tries to level the score at the end to 14 – 14, well it was a friendly.

League action commences next Saturday with an away fixture at Lymm. followed by a trip to York.

The club's first home game of the season will be on Saturday, September 18, when Rossendale head to Underley Park.

Kirkby's September fixtures finishes with an away fixture at Wirral (September 25).