A last-minute penalty gave Sandal a narrow 14-12 win over Kirkby Lonsdale on a sodden Underley Park pitch on Saturday.

In the conditions there were going to be errors and neither side disappointed in this capacity as the game settled down into a fifty/fifty contest between two evenly matched sides who shared the honours in set piece play at lineouts and scrums. A long pin point accuracy penalty from Scott Armstrong gave Kirkby an attacking lineout just outside the Sandal twenty two, a clean catch gave Kirkby possession and a Sandal infringement then gave them a kickable penalty but debutant Agustin Cittadini was unable to convert it.

The game was scoreless at the end of the first quarter and the crowd had to wait until the 34th minute to see some points on the board. Sandal's lively scrum half William Morecombe slipped through a couple of tackles and got a two on one, passing to his full back Jack Townend who scored by the right corner flag. Stand-off Greg Wood missed the conversion but the visitors led 5-0 and this remained the score at half time.

Elliot Horner replaced Dan Thompson in Kirkby’s front row but six minutes into the half Sandal extended their lead when Kirkby went off their feet at a ruck and Wood kicked the penalty to make it 8-0.

A Kirkby attack then saw flanker Stuart Storey running for the line, a tackle came in but his momentum took him and the tackler over on the ground only for the ref to disallow the try due to a double movement as he grounded the ball.

Kirkby had some momentum though and another attacking movement saw Cittadini find Harry Ralston with a lovely fast flat pass and the centre blasted through the defence to score. Cittadini converted to close the gap to 8-7 as the game went into the final quarter.

Kirkby might have expected to press on from there but it was Wood again who kicked another penalty when Kirkby went offside and their lead was 11-7.

Undaunted, Kirkby hit back with a massive drive from the forwards who went all the way to the line from around thirty metres out, prop Tyran Fagan getting the ball down. Cittadini’s conversion hit the post and bounced back but Kirkby had the lead at 12-11 with ten minutes to play.

With just a minute remaining, Kirkby were penalised some thirty five metres out. It wasn’t an easy kick but Wood nailed it to edge Sandal ahead to 14-12 as the game went into time added on.