This was a superlative performance by Kirkby at Underley Park, an unstoppable irresistible display of powerful forward play and exhilarating backs running rugby against a competent Liverpool St Helens side who were just swept away on the day.
It was Kirkby’s turn, LSH had previously been on the right side of a big score against Kirkby at their Moss Lane ground as Kirkby found their feet in North 1 West some years ago and it lives in the memory that on that day one LSH wag suggested that Carol Vorderman should be managing their scoreboard since they were scoring so fast.
They didn’t need her yesterday, although Kirkby’s scoreboard man of the day Mike Neal did need treatment twice as he manfully tried to match the pace of Kirkby’s try scoring spree.
Dan Armistead had moved from hooker to prop at one, Matt Hoyland was at two with the reassuring and ever reliable Tim Groves at three, Alan Robinson was at six with rising star Ryan Terry at full back.
Kirkby kicked off towards the clubhouse and down the prevailing south westerly breeze, LSH caught and cleared but didn’t find touch, Kirkby worked left wing Martyn Knapton into space and he ran for the line but was denied a try by a last ditch tackle.
The fire was lit though in that first minute, Kirkby maintained play in the visitors half and LSH did not cross the half way line with ball in hand until the match was 15 minutes old and by this time Kirkby had scored three tries and led 19-0.
By half time with tries from Sam Latu (3), Tom Pickthall, Tim Groves, Dave Barton, Stuart Storey, Ryan Terry and skipper Matt Hughes Kirkby had racked up nine tries and a scoreline of 53-0.
Tom Pickthall had missed a few difficult conversions as the half sped along but his kicking leg must have been nearly dropping off.
In the second half of last weeks game away at Leigh Kirkby scored 43 points whilst conceding only a few and in the first half of this one 53 points without reply, this gives some indication of the form this squad is in at the moment and of the storm LSH ran into at Underley Park.
The second half wasn’t too old before Kirkby’s number four Simon Dowker slipped a very clever pass to wingman Knapton who scored in the left corner, 58-0.
Sam Chesney-Benson replaced Craig Galbraith at eight and Josh Maddocks came onto a wing whilst the Kirkby half backs Walker and Barton continued to have a field day and it was Barton who scored next to take the score to 63-0 before LSH found their way onto the scoreboard.
Kirkby seemed to have a grub kick from scrum half James Laycock covered but it hit the foot of a post, bounced away from the defender and into the path of the following up Laycock who scored. LSH stand off Greg Smith converted from in front and it was 63-7 as the game went into the last quarter.
LSH never gave up and in the second half did put together some dangerous passages of play and they did score again, an unconverted Greg Smith try to narrow the gap to 63-12, but Kirkby had the last say when the ball went loose midfield and just inside the visitors half.
It was only a half chance but that was all Walker needed as he got enough of a foot to the ball to prod it behind LSH then ran through to make a beautiful pick up at pace and score between the posts.
Pickthall must have been grateful for the easy conversion and he made no mistake to take the final score to 70-12 with a try margin of twelve to two.
This result consolidates Kirkby’s fifth place in the league with six points now separating them from Warrington in sixth, although the next fixture away at the Manchester club Broughton Park on the 22nd of March will be a tough challenge as they fight to stay clear of the relegation zone.