Kirkby Lonsdale 37 Wilmslow 17

This four try bonus point win took Kirkby to 57 league points, which equals their points total from last season and meant they finished tenth in the league.

At the star of the season, a somewhat reconstructed Kirkby side came away from the first game at Wilmslow with a wobbly bonus point win. The side did settle but throughout the season faced further reconstruction when key players David Cooper-Dunn departed to live in Australia, Dave Maka took the opportunity to play in France, Ross Hobbs went to play in New Zealand and matrimonial duties took Martyn Knapton to Scotland.

It says much for the depth and quality of the club’s playing strength that Kirkby maintained a mid table position for most of the season.

Underley Park was resplendent in the April sunshine for the last league match of the season in front of a large and appreciative crowd.

Wilmslow kicked off towards the town but it was Kirkby who struck first with only two minutes on the clock. They had been attacking down the left but when held near the line scrum half Ben Walker spun a long flat pass infield to his stand off Mike Fearon, who continued the move to the right.

Skipper Tom Pickthall rounded things off with the try and stand off Mike Fearon kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.

Soon afterwards Kirkby were penalised for coming in from the side at a ruck. Wilmslow kicked the penalty from around thirty metres to make it 7-3 after seven minutes.

Three minutes later a missed tackle by Kirkby gave Wilmslow an attacking option and their number twelve Ethan Harding was in by the posts and the conversion was a formality to make it 7-10. But Kirkby were level again five minutes later when Fearon nailed a penalty.

On the half hour a high tackle by Wilmslow was penalised and this gave Kirkby the chance to put the ball into touch near the line on the grandstand side. A good catch from the lineout regained possession and this led to a sustained period of attack near the Wilmslow line but their defence was good. Kirkby put the ball down the line, centre Ryan Terry took it on and timed a lovely slip pass to young full back Andrew Bargh, who hit the line on an angle and was through for his first 1stXV try. Fearon was again on target with the conversion.

Pickthall score his second try which Fearon converted to stretch the lead to 24-10.

Left wing Harry Huddleston then produced a fine solo effort from his own twenty two and Fearon struck the conversion. It was 31-10 when the half time whistle went.

For the second half Lewis Williams, Sam Tallon and Will Brown came off the Kirkby bench and both sides continued to play open and entertaining rugby.

After 30 minutes Wilmslow narrowed the gap with a converted try to make it 31-17 and they played good rugby throughout the game.

But Kirkby were never really troubled and it was fitting that young Will Brown rounded things off with his first 1st XV try when he picked up a loose ball some 20 metres out. A looping run took him in by the left corner flag for the bonus point fourth try which left a difficult touchline conversion into the slight breeze. But Fearon continued his 100 per cent kicking record in the match and make the final score 38-17.

In a boisterous clubhouse after the game former player Nick Meadows assumed the Master of Ceremonies role and, for an outstanding performance on his right wing, awarded the Man of the Match to xciting young Kirkby player Cameron Dale.

Braden Schiller and Josh Sheridan are returning home to Australia but it is hoped they will play again for Kirkby next season, along with Tyran Fagan from South Africa if his visa application is successful.


1 Dan Thompson

2 Alex Briggs

3 Braden Schiller

4 Leandro Kwiczor

5 Craig Galbraith

6 Josh Sheridan

7 Stu Storey

8 Alex Rogers

9 Ben Walker

10 Mike Fearon

11 Harry Huddleston

12 Tom Pickthall ( C )

13 Ryan Terry

14 Cameron Dale

15 Andrew Bargh


16 Sam Tallon

17 Will Brown

18 Lewis Williams