Underley Park was on the sodden side of soaking wet on Saturday as Kirkby Lonsdale lost 14-12 to Sandal.
In the conditions there were going to be errors and neither side disappointed in that respect as the game settled down into a 50-50 contest between two evenly matched sides who shared the honours in set piece play at lineouts and scrums.
A long pin-point accuracy penalty from Scott Armstrong gave Kirkby an attacking lineout just outside the Sandal twenty two, a clean catch gave Kirkby possession and a Sandal infringement then gave them a kickable penalty but Agustin Cittadini was unable to convert it.
The game was scoreless at the end of the first quarter and the crowd had to wait until the 34th minute to see some points on the board.
Sandal’s lively scrum half William Morecombe slipped through a couple of tackles and got a two-on-one, passing to his full back Jack Townend who scored by the right corner flag.
Stand-off Greg Wood missed the conversion but it was to be the only kick at goal he missed all day as the visitors led 5-0 and this remained the score at half-time.
Six minutes into the second half Sandal extended their lead when Kirkby went off their feet at a ruck and Wood kicked the penalty to make it 8-0.
A Kirkby attack then saw flanker Stuart Storey running for the line, a tackle came in but his momentum took him and the tackler over on the ground, only for the referee to disallow the try due to a double movement as he grounded the ball.
Kirkby might have expected to press on from there but Wood kicked another penalty when Kirkby went offside and the Sandal lead was 11-7.
Kirkby hit back with a massive drive from the forwards who went all the way to the line from around 30 metres out, prop Tyran Fagan getting the ball down, Cittadini’s conversion hit the post and bounced back but Kirkby had the lead at 12-11 with 10 minutes to play.
Having spurned opportunities to kick clear, the hosts were punished in the penultimate minute, Wood nailing a match-winning penalty.