Kirkby Lonsdale made an excellent start to 2018 on Saturday, beating Ilkley 21-12.
Kirkby just about edged the first quarter and this led to the first try, Matt Hughes making a strong carry towards the line before off-loading in the tackle to right wing Harry Ralston, who scored in the corner.
Tom Pickthall’s conversion attempt didn’t come off his boot at all well but Kirkby had the lead at 5-0.
Kirkby then yielded a couple of penalties which took Ilkley into the home twenty two, they drove from a successful lineout and were then awarded a scrum but Kirkby hooker Matt Holyland took it against the head and the danger was cleared.
Back on the attack the Kirkby forwards were pounding the Ilkley line, Dan Thompson got the ball down for the second try, Pickthall’s conversion this time was dead centre to extend the lead to 12-0 as half time approached.
Kirkby were desperate to keep Ilkley off the scoreboard before the whistle went but the visitors prevailed, driving their big number four Henrik Ek over by the left corner flag.
The conversion was wide as the whistle went to end a tightly contested first half at 12-5.
Kirkby started the second half strongly and when an attack was illegally halted Pickthall slotted the penalty to extend their lead to 15-5.
Ilkley’s running and ball handling skills were a feature of the game and it was really no surprise when a flowing move created space down the right for their flying winger, Josh Hall, to cross and run behind the posts for a converted try to narrow the score to 15-12.
Inside the last quarter a Pickthall penalty from around twenty five metres made it 18-12 and he then took all the time he needed to coolly slot another penalty between the sticks to close out the score at 21-12.