Ilkley 43 – Kirkby Lonsdale 5

In Appreciation of

Ilkley 43 – 5 Kirkby Lonsdale

A personal view by Cammie Hodgkinson.

With injuries and unavailability’s accounting for eight first choice regulars the Kirkby squad for this match was noticeable for those players not in it as it faced third placed Ilkley, the most serious injury being that of player coach Scott Armstrong who is out for six weeks with broken bones in his hand.

However, there was plenty of talent out there, Prop Braden Schiller had come impressively off the bench last Saturday but this was his first start in the 1 shirt and he had a stormer.There were first runs out this season for Ross Towers at 2, James Fishwick at 4, Lancashire U20 centre Matt Bargh at 13 and Andrew Bargh at 15 in the starting XV, with first shows for Will Brown and Cameron Dale on the bench. In all six players who two years ago were under 16’s, they couldn’t match the maturity or experience of the good Ilkley side but they never took a step back, never gave up, played with passion and chased Ilkley all the way to the finish with a late try from winger Harry Ralston. Ross Towers performed very well at 2 until he went off with bruised ribs near the end of the first half and the Kirkby pack dominated the home eight throughout the game, several times driving them off their own put in. Ilkley opened the scoring with a drive from a lineout, flanker Pat Power touching down, stand off Charles Morgan added the extras and it was 7 – 0 with five minutes played.

A missed tackle gifted Ilkley a second try, full back Chris Ramsey touching down, although this time the conversion was wide and the score was 12 – 0 the lead extended by a Morgan penalty following a high tackle to make it 15 – 0 at the end of the first quarter.

But Kirkby were settling and putting the home side under sustained pressure. A last ditch tackle prevented a Kirkby try and the forwards were twice held up over the line as they increasingly began to dominate the set piece scrum, but although they finished the half the stronger side Kirkby could not put points on the board and it was still 15 – 0 when the half time whistle went.

As with the first half Ilkley started the second half with an early try this time from second row Matt Burke, Morgan again on target with the kick and it was 22 – 0, but although they had a good lead the Ilkley side was coming under increasing pressure from Kirkby who could do everything but score.

Contrastingly Ilkley could do just that, from scant possession they took their chances with clever offloads and good running to add three more tries, two from number eight Max McKay and a second one for Power. All converted by Morgan to take their lead to 43 – 0 before Ralston finally put Kirkby on the board with his try following good work by full back  Andrew Bargh to make the final score 43 – 5.

A score which suggests Kirkby were overwhelmed but they were not. There were good contributions off the bench by Alex Briggs, Will Brown and Cameron Dale and the young squad can be justifiably proud of its efforts and gutsy performance which was well appreciated by the traveling faithful.

1.Braden Schiller 2.Ross Towers 3.Ross Hobbs 4.James Fishwick 5.Daniel Thompson 6.James Thompson 7.Craig Galbraith 8.James Barker 9.Harry Huddleston 10.Mike Fearon 11.Lewis Williams 12.Tom Pickthall ( C ) 13.Matt Bargh 14.Harry Ralston 15.Andrew Bargh  Bench 16.Alex Briggs 17.Will Brown 18.Cameron Dale