Kirkby Lonsdale 32-19 Birkenhead Park

Dave Barton on the charge for Kirkby Lonsdale.
Dave Barton on the charge for Kirkby Lonsdale.

Birkenhead Park visited Kirkby Lonsdale on Saturday but they weren’t able to end the home team’s unbeaten in North One West, the hosts running out 32-19 winners.

The match was a battle royal almost from the off and Park had the first chance for points with a long range penalty which was dead centre but fell just short under the posts.

However, despite some intense Park pressure in the early stages, Kirkby took the lead.

Stand off Dave Barton chipped the ball over for right wing Martyn Knapton to gather and put in a run to the corner, he was tackled but laid the ball back and the forwards hammered the Park line. Several thrusts were held by Park until Kirkby skipper Ben Walker saw a gap and was through wide out right for the first try, full back Ryan Terry’s conversion was just wide though.

A successful penalty put Park on the board at 5-3 but Kirkby extended their lead when Matt Hughes made a thundering break to take play to the edge of the Park twenty two, the move was completed when Harry Huddleston found space down the right touchline to score the second try to make it 10-3.

A penalty for each side then took the score to 13-6 and following two more Kirkby infringements, the visitors reduced the gap to just one point.

However, right on half time won their line-out and Walker fed Barton, who ran a beautiful angle, shrugging off tackles to score near the posts.

Terry’s conversion was the last kick of the half and Kirkby went in 20-12 up.

Temper flared in an attritional second half, but Kirkby managed to claim two more tries, with stand off Barton involved in both.

Having run out of his twenty two he passed outside to hooker Matt Hoyland just inside the Kirkby half and in front of the grandstand. There was plenty of Park defence but he outrageously dummied a pass to winger Huddleston which rooted Park to the ground, raised a great cheer from the home crowd and put him in space.

He then perfectly timed the pass to Huddleston who cut inside and went over under the posts for the bonus point fourth try.

Barton then timed a pass to Knapton on the left wing who scored the fifth try in the corner as the clock ran down, although there was still time for Birkenhead Park to rumble over the line and kick the conversion.