AN INJURY time try gave Kirkby Lonsdale the chance to snatch a draw in a dramatic end to this season’s second North Premier League ‘derby’ at Mintbridge on Saturday.

But the touchline conversion attempt failed to let Kendal claim the bragging rights as the narrowest of wins over their South Lakeland neighbours completed a double.

It was a day that could hardly have been less hospitable for players and fans alike – cold, wet and windy from the off, with the floodlights shining brightly in the gloom as Kirkby kicked off with seven first team regulars on the injured list.

Ex-Kendal men Mike Fearon, Dave Barton, James Thompson and Gareth Gore were joined on the sidelines by James Fishwick, Stuart Storey and Alex Rogers, while Kendal kept faith with the team that had won against Wilmslow last weekend, with the only changes seeing Mark Irving return after suspension and Ross Mckay replace Liam Hayton in the second row.

It was Kendal who made the better start, with the forwards twice driving Kirkby off the ball at rucks to turn the ball over and earn an opportunity to open the scoring with a long range penalty after Kirkby were caught offside.

But the kick did not have the distance and, using the wind on their backs, there was a good clearance.

Against the early run of play, it was Kirkby who drew first blood with a Ryan Terry penalty after seven minutes making it 3-0 despite the pack being second best at both scrums and line-outs.

There was a blow for Kirkby after a quarter of an hour as hooker Dan Armistead was concussed in a tackle and forced off the field after a long period of treatment.

But even so, Kirkby began to have the better of play without really threatening the Kendal line as the amount of friction between the two packs increased. And then home scrum half Matty Kaye was yellow carded for a late hit on his opposite number Ben Walker in first half injury time and Ryan Terry banged over the penalty to double the visitors’ lead to 0-6.

When the second half began, it was Kendal again who made the better start despite having to make a change with Robbie Collinson replacing Steven Nelson.

After ten minutes, with the referee already signalling a penalty advantage, Nathan McCloy dropped a goal to open the Kendal scoring and reduce the deficit to three points.

But it was not until the game entered the final quarter that Kendal finally found a way to break the Kirkby defence when flanker Kirk Chettleburgh found a gap then delivered the scoring pass to Nick Carlton to give Kendal the lead for the first time at 8-6.

With ten minutes to play Kendal made their final change, with captain Dom Musetti coming off to be replaced by Jack Lashley.

As the game moved towards full time, Kirkby put what appeared to be a good kick deep into the Kendal half, where it was gathered and fed to substitute Glen Weightman to kick back to the Kirkby line.

A Kirkby player tried to attack from his own line but instead was enveloped by Kendal players and conceded a scrum on the five metre line.

Kirkby might have been expecting a drive but Kendal’s classy number eight Chris Downham picked up and charged over for the try. Again there was no conversion but the home side had extended the lead to 13-6 as 40 minutes came up on the clock.

The score fired up Kirkby and, with Kendal making a number of errors – including losing a lineout which had been solid for much of the afternoon – the visitors put together an attacking spell which pinned Kendal in their twenty two and led to a Dave Maka try in the right corner with 47 minutes on the clock.

The last play would be Ryan Terry’s touchline conversion which could have levelled the scores, but although his kick was dead centre the ball held up in the wind and fell short. The game went to Kendal 13 – 11.

The four points are invaluable to Kendal but they remain in the relegation zone, while the losing bonus point for Kirkby maintains their mid table position as the season goes into the Christmas break.