Kirkby Lonsdale 31

Blaydon 25

A CRACKER of a game saw Kirkby Lonsdale pull off a thrilling North Premier triumph against second placed Blaydon.

And it was a fully deserved win set up by a first half of creative attacking rugby and a second half of tenacious tackling and well organised defence in what proved to be an excellent afternoon's entertainment.

Kirkby were on their game from the start, pinning the visitors back and forcing a penalty which Ryan Terry uncharacteristically missed.

But from the restart, they were back on the offensive and after another penalty set up a good position, the forwards drove on and scrum half Ben Walker dummied a pass created a gap and was over by the posts, Terry converting.

Five minutes later and Kirkby added a second try, a loop move and run round from skipper and stand off Dave Barton creating the extra man which gave right wing Andrew Bargh the opportunity to skin the last defender and go over in the corner for try two.

Terry was on target with the touchline conversion and Kirkby were 14-0 ahead inside the first 10 minutes.

Blaydon hit back with a well worked converted try down the right, and there were more problems for the home side when Barton knocked on an attempted interception and received a straight yellow card.

The penalty was slotted over to reduce the deficit to four points, but Kirkby roared back and number eight Harlan Corrie blasted through before producing an amazing offload to hooker Dan Armistead who caught it brilliantly and scored by the posts, Terry again converting to extend the lead to 21-10.

Blaydon narrowed the gap with a penalty but the home side extended the lead again when left wing Harry Huddleston jinked through then accelerated down the flank to cross for the fourth try.

Terry converted then nailed a penalty shortly afterwards to give Kirkby a very handy 31-13 half time lead.

A three score margin is a decent gap but Blaydon are not in second place by accident and they threw everything at Kirkby in the second half.

Heroic defence kept them out but their cause was not helped when Armistead was yellow carded for a technical offence.

The visitors eventually crossed in the 11th minute of the second half and though the conversion was missed, there was no let up for Kirkby.

Barton left the field with a knock but Matty Kaye came on to nine and Walker moved out to stand off and to their huge credit, the home side held out until the first minute of injury time when a converted try brought Blaydon within range.

The next two minutes of added time seemed like an eternity but Kirkby held out for a famous win, and they can enjoy this weekend's free date before returning to action with a trip to Morpeth on December 7.