Kirkby Lonsdale 23

Blackburn 15

VISITORS Blackburn's early season hot streak was ended by Kirkby Lonsdale as they eased to a deserved North Premier victory.

Despite being without skipper Dave Barton and flanker Stu Storey, they welcomed back Dan Armistead, James Thompson, Alex Rogers, Ben Walker and Mike Fearon.

And with pack working well on the day, Sam Kyle-Clay’s work being particularly eye-catching, they were worthy winners in front of an appreciative Underley Park crowd.

After an even opening four minutes, a yellow card saw Blackburn reduced to 14 men and Kirkby took full advantage, scrum half Ben Walker spotting a gap and with a typically sniping run was through it to score by the posts, Fearon tapping over the conversion.

But the visitors stormed back and though they lost centre Phil Baines, his replacement Jacob McHugh made an immediate impact with a well taken try.

Kirkby then hit back, extending their lead to 10-5 with a Fearon penalty after visiting hooker Oliver Trippier was yellow carded for an offence on the ground.

However, it was then the home side's turn to see yellow when Fearon was sin-binned for what the referee adjudged a no arms tackle, the visitors landing the resulting penalty to reduce the deficit to two points as an evenly matched first half ended.

Early in the second half, Blackburn were down a man yet again when number eight Sam Gale was yellow carded, Fearon slotting home the penalty.

And the Kirkby lead was extended further when after Scott Armstrong booted a huge penalty to touch near the left corner flag, prop Dan Thompson crashed over to make it 18-8.

With 10 minutes remaining, a Harry Huddleston try in the left corner all but sealed the win, and though Blackburn did cross again in the dying seconds, the successful conversion was the last kick of the game and the points went to Kirkby to put them in good heart for Saturday's trip to Alnwick to face England’s most northerly rugby club.