Kirkby warm up for new season with victory in Yorkshire

Mike Fearon.
Mike Fearon.

Kirkby Lonsdale warmed up for the new season with a win at Bradford and Bingley on Saturday.

Kirkby took a large squad with a strong representation of the 1st XV which included a number of new faces – Reece Thomlinson at five, Jack Walker at six, Matty Kaye at nine and Chris Ramwell at 15 alongside a strong contingent from the Development squad.

The Bees play in North 1 East, one level below Kirkby, and they are looking for a tilt at the title this season so provided good quality opposition.

Kirkby’s number 10 Mike Fearon kicked off into a stiff breeze, a beautifully flighted ball towards his left touchline.

The Bees did catch it but were immediately in trouble as Kirkby poured into the tackles and ripped the ball back, only for it to bounce into touch for a home throw in.

But Kirkby nicked the throw and the ball went to number 12 and skipper Dave Barton, who broke the line with a typically powerful run down the left.

As cover closed in he drifted infield to create space for his left wing Harry Huddleston who took the perfectly timed pass cleanly and he was over for a try with only a couple of minutes played.

This was the perfect start for Kirkby and was followed by an unstoppable run from number 13 Scott Armstrong, there were Bees tacklers in his way but they mainly caught the slipstream as he burst clear to run in behind the posts.

Into the second half and Ramwell was next in the try scoring action when he joined the line in an attack down the right to cross near the corner flag, the fourth try came from the forwards as they grouped and drove over.

The Bees then did get on the board with a converted try but this was cancelled out by Ramwell’s second.

A run which took him from just outside the Kirkby twenty two and included a couple of steps and a mighty hand off on the half way line which took him into the clear, a brilliant solo effort to finish behind the posts.

This was the end of the meaningful action which at five tries to one was a successful warm up for Kirkby who now look forward to entertaining Penrith at Underley Park on August 31 in the first round of the Cumbria Cup.