'THE Eagles they fly high" goes the old rugby song but on a cold November Saturday at Underley Park the Aspatria variety were grounded.

With Law, Slingsby, Storey and Barton all absent, the Kirkby supporters wondered how the rearranged side would cope.

Final score: Kirkby Lonsdale 43 - Aspatria Eagles 0.

Andy Hind took over at scrum-half and Hadwin at stand-off, but any doubts were soon dispersed when Kirkby put on the early pressure.

When Aspatria were penalised for holding, Hind took a quick tap on the 22 and slipped through the defence to score left of the posts and then converted to give Kirkby an early 7-0 lead.

Aspatria's hopes took another knock when one of their props twisted his shoulder but after treatment bravely carried on.

Despite Aspatria having a bigger pack, the Kirkby forwards more than held their own with Turner and Dowker putting in some hard work.

A second Kirkby try came when quick ball went along the line to left wing Squires, who outpaced the defence and scored midway out, Hind again converting.

The Eagles seemed to have only one attacking tactic, which was to drive off the base of the scrum, and the Kirkby back row stopped them making any progress.

Instead another good passing movement with front-row man Steve Aynsley running and passing like a centre saw the ball go to Squires again who scored in the corner. The conversion failed but Kirkby now seemed to have the match sewn up.

A well-rehearsed move saw a decoy runner divert the visitors' defence and Atkinson flipped the ball to Squires, who with a change of pace rounded the defence to score his third try, Hind again converting to stretch the lead to 26-nil.

Kirkby kept pressing and Aspatria were clearly struggling in the scrums. From a scrum near the line Mat Hughes picked up and drove over for a good try. The conversion failed but Kirkby were now out of sight.

Kirkby had one more clear chance of a score before half time with Squires put in space, but cold fingers or perhaps, as some supporters suggested, the number of jugs he would have to buy may have been off-putting and the ball went down.

Early in the second half, speedy flanker Alan Robinson took a hard knock and Wylder replaced him.

After a static spell Atkinson went on a weaving run and the ball was recycled to Hughes on the left who scored in the corner. Hind's kick was just short but at 36-0 with 30 minutes to go Kirkby looked set for another giant score.

The Kirkby pack put the opposition under a lot of pressure and the Aspatria front row disintegrated to such an extent that scrums had to be unopposed.

Aspatria tried one or two long kicks into the Kirkby half, but Mallaband fielded them and counter-attacked on several occasions.

Atkinson at last got his reward for a good running game when he intercepted an Aspatria kick and flew over near the posts. Hind converted to make it 43-0 and there was still time to double that.

However the visitors appealed to the referee about the hardening pitch and at the 61st minute he took pity and blew full time.

On the adjoining and rather harder pitch The Wanderers and Colne Seconds were having a keenly fought battle and given the same choice decided they would play on until full time.

This worked to Kirkby's advantage as they scored twice in the last few minutes and gained a good victory with Horsfall playing a prominent part.