Kirkby Lonsdale 17-32 Northwich

A STRONG swirling wind made accurate passing difficult for Kirkby’s final league match of the season.

Lying fourth in the table the visitors were always going to be a handful but Kirkby had managed to put a good young side together with the return of Cleary, McLeod and Voke.

The visitors made many attacks but good tackling and over eagerness prevented them scoring. A series of penalties got them close to the posts and another penalty saw Walding put the ball over for Northwich to take the lead.

Kirkby came straight back and forcing a penalty on the 10 metre line Close elected to go for goal. Few gave him a chance as the kick was diagonally into the wind. But a great kick went straight between the sticks to level the score.

As the half was drawing to a close two errors let in two tries, one converted, to give Northwich a 3–15 lead at half-time.

Kirkby seemed to get on the wrong side of the referee at the start of the second half and getting close to the Kirkby line Walding scored a smart scrum half try. Dale converted but there was drama when he returned to his position and collapsed with an epileptic fit and had to be helped from the field.

Despite this upset Northwich scored an unconverted try to increase the lead but then Kirkby seemed to raise their game and good passing got the ball to Voke who raced from the half way line to outpace the defence and score in the corner. Close took the conversion from the touchline and put the ball high through the posts.

The game seemed to be swinging Kirkby’s way but an error let in left wing Chubb for an unconverted try.

The young Kirkby backs were now playing with much more confidence and were rewarded when Cleary sliced through the defence to score midway out and Close again converted.

Three out of three, a rare achievement by a Kirkby player this season.

Kirkby were now striving for another try but could not get over the line before the final whistle blew.

The end of a difficult season with an unbelievable number of injuries but the emergence of several young players, catapulted into the first team, gives hope for better things next season.

Despite losing players for first team duty almost every week the seconds had an amazingly successful season gaining promotion.