Match report edited by Alexander Candlin talking to David Higson.

Kirkby Lonsdale faced Billingham RUFC at Underley Park in their latest Northern Premiership game fixture.

Billingham kicked off from the town end and the Kirkby forwards gathered and drew penalty taking them down to the visitors’ 22.

After the line out was won the backs ran out of space which gave the line out back to Billingham.

The backs were given the ball and they moved up field to break through the Kirkby line of defence to score within the first five minutes of the match.

From the restart, the home team took play down field and following a ruck, Park Johnson fed Williams who threw the dummy and went over for Kirkby's first try.

Converted it was 7-7 after ten minutes.

The next period of play resulted in ping pong as the ball was kicked back and forth before Billingham brought it to an end by reaching touch on the Kirkby 22.

Kirkby backs took play back down field when the visitors won the ball in the ruck and with good running rugby were deprived a further try as the defence was strong enough to halt the attack on the five-yard line.

However, from the following scrum their forwards pushed over for Billingham's second unconverted try. 7-12 after 20 mins. The restart kick was not 10 yards so visitors had scrum on half way line. The game moved into 10 minutes of play where both sides played open rugby but mistakes by both teams saw play move from end to end. Park Johnson cleared from ruck and Armistead was a little eager in the tackle and caught Billingham's number 13 before he hit the ground. Reward was 10 mins in the sin bin.

The penalty line out saw the visitors backs score in the corner with half time looming. Kirkby came back fighting from the kick off and a knock on by Billingham gave the home side the advantage with a penalty to follow. Line out was won and the forwards helped Storey over for Kirkby's second try. Converted, the half time score read 12-26.
From Kirkby's restart Billingham's No 10 returned the ball. Coulton gathered and kicked through the attacking opponents with Brown on the chase. He beat the defended to the ball and from the ground passed to Oats and on to Coulton who went over for Kirkby's third try. Converted the board read 19-26 within 10 minutes of the half. 

Billingham regrouped and put pressure on the home team whose defence held up until the visitors won the ball in a ruck and their backs went over to bring the score to 19-33.

Armistead was replaced by Mason in the pack. The visitors were showing their experience and weight advantage when their backs were on the attack again and a miss-tackle let the visitors wing over to move the score to 19-33.

The restart was short of the 10-yard mark and gave Billingham the advantage which they took in scoring their seventh try to make the score 19-38 within 15 minutes of the half. Two further tries by the visitors with their backs finding gaps in the home defence saw the score rise to 19-45.

Whilst this sounds like a walk over, Kirkby attacks were regular but faltered by too many knock-ons and missed passes.

A further try by the visiting backs moved the score line to 19-52.

The home sides resilience was still there as they moved up field after the restart with the ball moving along the backs line to see Oats score the bonus point try with 7 minutes to go. Score line read 24-52.

The last word went to Billingham with a try on the stroke of full time to bring the final score to 24-59.
The Kirkby performance continues to show much promise and their fighting spirit is nothing short of admirable and encouraging against more mature players.

Two more hard games to come before the end of the season.