A LATE penalty denied Kirkby Lonsdale a stunning second-half comeback win at Underley Park on Saturday as they were edged out 25-24 by Rossendale.

Rossendale kicked off into the breeze and towards the town and applied the early pressure but it was Kirkby who scored first after seven minutes with a penalty from Tom Pickthall to lead 3-0.

But this was against the run of play, Rossendale were dominating the early exchanges and took the lead five minutes later with a converted try to go 7-3 ahead.

The visitors extended this lead with a beautifully flighted kick to their right wing who took the ball well to score in the corner. No conversion this time but the visitors had a deserved lead at 12-3 and were looking like they could run away with the game.

A high tackle gave Kirkby a chance to narrow the gap and Pickthall took it to make it 12-6 as the first quarter ended.

From their restart, Rossendale were back in Kirkby territory but Kirkby had possession and from near his twenty two, returning captain Ben Walker flighted a kick down the right touchline. The over spin took the ball towards the line where the defender, under no pressure, suffered the worst nightmare when he fumbled the pickup and knocked on.

Kirkby got a drive on from the scrum and looked like they might drive over but Rossendale then held it, Kirkby released the ball and number eight Alex Rogers charged over in great style for the try. The conversion was just wide but at 12-11 there was suddenly nothing in it after half an hour.

A scrum offence by Kirkby gave Rossendale a penalty which they put into touch near the right corner flag and a clean catch and drive took them over for their second try. This time converted to send the teams in at half time with the visitors in the ascendency at 19-8.

Kirkby came roaring out of the blocks at the kick off at the start of the second half. A Pickthall penalty narrowed the gap to 19-11 as Kirkby began to dominate play, and another closed it further to 19-14. When Kirkby second row Matt Hughes crashed over for an unconverted try at the end of the third quarter, the scores were level at 19-19.

Rossendale edged back in front with a penalty to make it but were then undone by Scott Armstrong and Dave Barton. A strong looping run down the left took centre Armstrong into the Rossendale twenty two, a tackle did eventually come in but the ball was recycled to stand-off Barton who started a move to put the ball through a number of hands and it ended with him scoring in the right corner.

The conversion was just wide but Kirkby had the lead at 24-22 with ten minutes to play.

The pendulum swung again, however, as Kirkby were penalised in kicking range and the Rossendale penalty was good to edge them back in front at 25-24, and that was how it ended.