Kirkby Lonsdale 19 Lymm 13

IT WAS overcast at Underley Park as Kirkby Lonsdale welcomed Lymm, a side continually in contention in the North Premier League, knowing there was a tough match ahead.

But the hosts got a dream start in the second minute as Lymm looked to run the ball out and Kirkby skipper Dave Barton intercepted a Lymm pass 30 metres from the line to run in under the posts, with Tom Pickthall tapping over the conversion to make it 7-0.

New hooker Tom Burtonwood, on loan from Fylde announced his presence with a long and penetrating run into the Lymm twenty two, giving Kirkby a period of possession in a good attacking position, but they failed to profit.

And when play swung back Lymm’s way they were rewarded with a penalty which full back Cormac Nolan kicked to put them on the board at 7-3 after 15 minutes.

If skipper Barton’s first try was good it had nothing on his second – a contender for try of the season as he ran through Lymm from the half way line to score by the posts, Pickthall again added the extras.

The game became physical as Lymm sought to impose themselves and, on the half hour, Burtonwood’s mix-it enthusiasm got the better of him and he was sent to the sin bin.

But Kirkby were able to play the time out without conceding and were restored to full strength as the first half went into time added on.

With Lymm on the attack, a take-out of a Kirkby player went undetected by the officials and created a gap which Lymm number eight Oli Higginson ran through to score the visitors first try. The conversion was wide but the gap had narrowed to 14-8 at the break.

As the second half got under way, Kirkby again found themselves a man down when Harry Huddleston, going for an interception, was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on. With the man advantage, Lymm got a drive going and went over for a second try – with no conversion there was now only a point in it at 14-13.

But Kirkby weathered the rest of Lymm’s early storm and built a period of possession near the Lymm line, where a series of backs moves were held. Just as it looked as though no score would come, Kirkby regrouped and got prop Dan Thompson over for the third try, which went unconverted to make it 19-13 with 20 tense minutes to play.

Lymm suffered a setback when number eight Higginson was forced off with an injury and both sides had chances as the clock ran down, but there were no further scores and Kirkby ran out the winners of an enthralling and exciting game.

It was another good all round team performance and a victory which consolidates Kirkby in mid-table as they head to Harrogate.