A LATE try earned a depleted Kirkby Lonsdale a 17-10 win at the Northern Premier division's bottom side Pocklington on Saturday.

They travelled to this rearranged fixture without six first team regulars. Stand-off Dave Barton, prop Tyran Fagan, back row Craig Galbraith, winger Martyn Knapton and second row Matt Hughes were all unavailable or injured and prop Elliot Horner was on Lancashire County U20 duty.

This was Kirkby’s first ever visit to Pocklington, who were similarly afflicted by absent players and this led to an evenly balanced and well contested game.

For Kirkby Agustin Cittadini took the ten shirt for the first time, Dan Armistead started in the front row, Dave Maka moved from eight to five, Will Brown started at six with his colleague from the development squad James Fishwick on the bench alongside James Law and Ross Towers for this must-win game.

There was a bitterly cold wind blowing across the pitch as Kirkby kicked off playing left to right in front of the clubhouse but it was the beefy East Yorkshire side that applied the early pressure, hoping no doubt to build on their narrow loss to league leaders Preston Grasshoppers in their previous home game.

Kirkby weathered the storm and took play into home territory where number eight Alex Rogers picked up a loose ball at a ruck and charged over from just outside the twenty two for the opening try. It was converted by Tom Pickthall to give Kirkby a 7-0 lead after ten minutes.

From the restart, they maintained the pressure and were prevented a second try when they were held up over the line but the Pocklington defence was good and they could not benefit from the attacking five metre scrum.

The first half progressed with Kirkby having the slight edge and this materialised into a score when Pickthall banged over a penalty from around 25 metres to make the score 10-0 at half time.

The wind blew Pocklington’s second half restart into touch which gave Kirkby a scrum on half way.

Kirkby attacked from the scrum and enjoyed a few moments in Pocklington territory, but the hosts surged back into the Kirkby half and some scrambled defence on the twenty two saw the opposition scrum half David Davison come up with the ball and able to go over for the try. The conversion from number ten Christian Pollock brought the home side back in at 10-7 with more than 30 minutes remaining.

Pocklington then drew themselves level when Kirkby went offside in front and Pollock tapped over the penalty.

Kirkby missed a long-range penalty when Pocklington held on but the visitors were having slightly the better of things and the tireless Stuart Storey confirmed this when he bulldozed over for a try, Pickthall’s conversion was good and the lead was restored at 17-10 which was to be the final score.

It was a long last ten minutes as Kirkby’s Ross Towers came off the bench to scrum half and Kirkby had a lot of defending to do, particularly from Pocklington’s number eight: ex Scotland rugby league international Andy Little, who ran strongly from the back of their scrum all day.

But defend they did and when the moment came hooker Matt Holyland was in possession near the line and he booted the ball many miles off the pitch to end the game.