KENDAL RUFC made it back-to-back wins as they edged out local rivals Kirkby Lonsdale to win a closely-contested South Lakeland derby 11-10 on Saturday.

For the second consecutive weekend, frost rendered the first-team pitch unplayable, meaning the large crowd at Mint Bridge had to jostle for a viewing spot around the artificial surface.

The visitors got the game under way and they were awarded an early penalty when Kendal first failed to gather the kick off and then conceded a penalty for a high tackle.

That opening opportunity was missed, but it was Kirkby who would still go on to open the scoring. Another Kendal offence in a ruck brought Kirkby a second kickable penalty with 14 minutes played.

Agustin Cittadini stepped up and put the visitors the 3-0 ahead.

Hosts Kendal continued to fall foul of the referee, with captain Dom Musetti earning a warning.

The game then settled into an even tussle. Kendal did have an attacking lineout opportunity inside the twenty two but Kirkby’s number four Gareth Gore stole their throw and the danger was cleared.

An injury to Kendal’s left wing Dini Noyo held play up for some time but he was able to recover and continue.

The next scoring chance, a long range penalty attempt from Cittadini, just failed falling under the crossbar as the evenly-fought contest approached half time.

Kendal were choosing to frequently kick for position, rather than keep the ball in hand, but Kirkby were dealing easily with the kicks and setting up counter attacks. It was, however, a kick which finally opened up the Kirkby defence at the end of normal time.

There was a loose Kirkby kick out of defence, which was gathered by Glen Weightman who launched a very high kick of his own. Hooker Jacob Sutton gathered the ball and made a good break before offloading to Noyo, who who managed to get over for the first try of the game. A failure to break from a tackle then gave Kendal a penalty which Weightman put over to make it 8-3 at the interval.

Early in the second half, a break from Kirkby skipper Tom Pickthall offered promise but a stray pass meant the opportunity was missed, and it then got worse for the visitors. They were reduced to 14 when Gore was yellow carded for a late tackle.

Kendal initially took advantage with possession but it was Kirkby who turned the screw with a period of forward pressure on the Kendal line. They looked certain to score and were held up a couple of times, but their escalating handling error count brought their pressure to an end with a knock on and no advance to the score.

With time running out, when Kirkby were penalised at a maul a couple of metres in from the right touchline and some twenty five to thirty metres out, Nathan Woof had an opportunity to open up a two-score gap. The referee judged his kick to be accurate and Kendal led 11-3.

Instead of gathering the kick off and trying to run the clock down, another loose Kendal kick gave Kirkby back the ball, and they began to put the ball through numerous phases.

Four minutes into injury time, Tyran Fagan broke through a gap and took a difficult pick up very cleanly and scored behind the posts. Cittadini’s conversion closed the gap to a point at 11-10.

The Kendal kick off was put straight into touch, to give Kirkby a scrum on halfway, and again they kept the ball through numerous phases, but could find no way through. Finally, after ten minutes of injury time, a Kirkby error ended play.