Kirkby Lonsdale 41-31 Birkenhead Park
Kirkby Lonsdale finished their Northern Division season on Saturday with a 41-31 win over Birkenhead Park at Underley Park.
In a moment of high emotion, ex-skipper and figurehead Matt Hughes led the team onto the pitch in what was his final game for the club.
However, the visitors put a dampener on things early on when they took the lead from a penalty, although Ryan Terry levelled things up moments later to make it 3-3.
Park hit back but fumbled the ball at the back of a ruck inside the Kirkby 22m and Kirkby’s left wing Harry Huddleston neatly picked it up and sped down the line, outpacing the cover to score in the corner, Terry converted from the touchline to extend the lead to 10-3.
Park then spurned a kickable penalty to put the ball into touch around ten metres from the Kirkby line and following a clean catch at the lineout they were able to rumble over for a try, the conversion levelling the scores again at 10-10.
Kirkby retook the lead in the second quarter when Harry Ralston went over for for a spectacular converted try which covered almost the full length of the pitch after some great build up play by Dave Barton, Ben Walker and Huddleston.
However, in injury time Park levelled it with a converted try to send the teams in at half time 17-17 in a what was a ding dong match.
Five minutes into the second half Walker went on a tap and go and caught Park off guard, taking a couple of tacklers with him over the line as he scored, Terry’s conversion putting Kirkby 24-17 ahead.
Kirkby scored again when Barton ran out of his own twenty two, swapped passes with his outside centre Matthew Bargh, and it ended with Barton scoring the bonus point fourth try, Terry again nailing the conversion to extend Kirkby’s lead to 31-17.
Hughes scored Kirkby’s fifth try, much to the pleasure of the home crowd, but Park hit back with a converted try of their own to make it 36-24 in the final quarter. An unconverted Terry try took the score to 41-4 almost on 40 minutes before, deep into injury time, Park had the final flourish with a converted try making the final score 41 -31.