KIRKBY Lonsdale recorded back-to-back wins for the first time in 2018 with an impressive 41-21 victory over Billingham.

The hosts scored six tries at Underley Park on Saturday against a Billingham side that had won 64-3 in the reverse fixture and sat fifth in the North Premier division.

Billingham kicked off but it was Kirkby who had the first score with a try from close range by number eight Dave Maka. Stand-in skipper Tom Pickthall’s conversion narrowly missed but the home side were ahead 5-0 with four minutes played.

But four minutes later, Billingham were ahead with a converted try.

Ryan Terry returned to action for Kirkby off the bench with 20 minutes played, replacing the injured Matt Bargh, and as the first half drew to a close Kirkby regained their lead with a try from centre Scott Armstrong, converted by Pickthall to make it 12-7.

Kirkby struck again in first half injury time through stand-off Dave Barton, in imperious and controlling form in this game, his try converted by Pickthall to make the half time score 19-7.

Billingham did what they had to do and hit back with a converted try in the second minute of the second half to narrow the gap to 19-14 and put the game back in the balance.

But Kirkby eased things back in their favour when a period of pressure gave winger Harry Ralston a chance which he took to score the bonus point fourth try in the left corner. Pickthall added the difficult conversion to extend Kirkby’s lead to 26-14 after ten minutes of the half.

It wasn’t all Kirkby though as Billingham, near the top of the league and in with a sniff of a promotion play off place, went flat out to rescue the game.

Then in one of the moments of the match Kirkby scored their fifth try. Dave Maka had been in tremendous form throughout the game and was involved in defence on the Kirkby twenty two as Billingham surged forward, but Maka claimed the ball and set off on a run down the left touchline.

There was nothing but seventy metres of grass between him and the line. Billingham’s opposite winger had got across as Maka surged into the twenty two but it was an unequal contest as he brushed off the challenge to score.

Pickthall added the conversion and it was 33-14 with twenty minutes to play.

A Pickthall penalty extended the lead to 36-14, but Kirkby picked up two yellow cards in quick succession for technical offences. Thirteen men weren’t enough to keep the powerful and classy Billingham side out and they were over for their third converted try to make the score 36-21 with ten minutes to play.

Restored to fourteen that was enough though for Kirkby to close the game out in injury time with their sixth try. Barton called and controlled a move to create a three on two which put winger Bargh in near the corner flag for the try, Pickthall’s conversion was just wide but it was all over with the final score at 41 – 21.