Wirral 7 Kirkby 15

A storm did arrive on the Wirral but it wasn’t the predicted Storm Dennis and it came in the black-red-amber fury of Kirkby Lonsdale as they shrugged off last week’s disappointing home loss with a crucial away win.

Kirkby set about the task with yet another reshuffled side with Jacob Young drafted in at prop, Harry Huddleston in an unfamiliar position at outside centre and a first-team debut for Nathan Simpson on the left wing which made him the 41st name on the team sheet this season.

But it didn’t start well, a penalty against Kirkby for accidental offside at the drop-out putting Wirral on the offensive with a sequence of lineouts near the Kirkby line but the defence was good.

Eventually Kirkby gained possession and excellent handling and running put full-back Chris Ramwell over for a try wide out.

Mike Fearon’s wind-tester conversion was wide but Kirkby were ahead 0-5 and this became 0-8 15minutes later when Fearon, who now had his sights set in the stormy conditions, banged over a penalty from the half-way line.

Then try-scorer Ramwell was yellow-carded and Kirkby were down to 14 men.

Moments later David Cooper Dunn also received a yellow for killing the ball as Wirral attacked and 13 is a really unlucky number to defend with.

The defence was manful but with two extra men the inevitable happened and Wirral exploited a gap to score a try by the posts, converting to narrow the gap to 7-8 at half time.

Gareth Gore had picked up a knock and Leandro Kwiczor came off the bench as the second half got under way, with Kirkby playing their best rugby of the game so far to go deep into Wirral territory.

Possession and pressure led to a solid Kirkby scrum on the five-metre line and in trademark style Stu Storey powered over by the posts for the second try, Fearon converting to extend Kirkby’s lead to an eight-point margin.

The Wirral response was to hoist high kicks down the wind, probably hoping to pressurise young wingers Ryan Allwood and Nathan Simpson but the tactic didn’t work.

As conditions deteriorated and time began to run out Kirkby picked up their third yellow card of the match when powerful second-row Kwiczor was sent to the bin but Wirral couldn’t capitalise as Kirkby fitness counted and they tackled everything that moved.

Wirral have a good home record but the final whistle went with the score at 7-15 and Kirkby had done the double over them, denied them a losing bonus point on the day and restored some pride.