A SUN baked Underley Park was the perfect setting for Kirkby Lonsdale to kick-start their North Premier season with a richly deserved derby victory over visitors Carlisle.

Prop Sam Tallon was handed the man of the match award but it was in truth a great team performance by a side shorn of the services of skipper Dave Barton due to concussion, stand off and goal kicker Mike Fearon and flanker Jack Walker.

In addition, a late illness claimed prop Dan Thompson but on the plus side dynamic flanker Josh Sheridan had returned from Australia and was on the bench.

Kirkby had to reshuffle their pack but they blended well and after an even opening period, the powerful pairing of ball carrier Reece Tomlinson and Harlan Corrie powered over together for the first try, Ryan Terry converting.

A high tackle on flanker Stu Storey led to a yellow card for Carlisle stand off Grant Connon but the visitors held out until seconds before the break when Kirkby’s impressive young left wing Harry Huddleston split the Carlisle defence and the tireless Storey was on hand to finish the job with try two in the right hand corner.

Carlisle came out firing for the second half but were completely undone by an interception from Scott Armstrong who outpaced all would be chasers on a length of the field run to score under the posts, Terry’s conversion making it 19–0.

Three minutes later Huddleston added another try after a jinking run and though Armstrong had to make a last man tackle as the visitors sought a way back, normal service was resumed when James Thompson crossed for Kirkby.

Right wing Andrew Bargh cut in to score the sixth try under the posts, Chris Ramwell converting.

Connon bagged a consolation try for Carlisle but the coup de grace was delivered courtesy of another fine try by Huddleston with a big assist from Storey.

The conversion from Ramwell completed a fine victory which goes some way to healing the wounds of those defeats in Kirkby's opening two fixtures and sets them up nicely for Saturday's first ever visit to Macclesfield, who were relegated from National 2 North last season.