Harrogate 26-38 Kirkby Lonsdale

Gate Unhinged

A personal view by Cammie Hodgkinson

The home victory v Lymm last Saturday was seen by many as Kirkby’s best performance of the season, but they raised the bar again with this convincing away win, in changed strip, at Harrogate who were third in the league going into this match.

An all round team performance which saw Kirkby destroy the Gate pack and score six tries, two of which were penalty tries. The pressure told on Harrogate towards the end of the first half when they ran out of props and had to opt for uncontested scrums. In that circumstance a Gate player should have left the field until scrums were again contested but they played on with fifteen men and scored two converted tries during that period which increased their score by fourteen points, this didn’t affect the result but the matter will need to be addressed by officials and could affect the Gate score.

Kirkby left wing Harry Huddleston opened the scoring with a try after five minutes, a typical weaving run. Mike Fearon couldn’t add the conversion but it was a good start at 0 – 5 and it became even better ten minutes later when right wing Harry Ralston crossed for the second try. Ten minutes in and both wingers on the score sheet at 0 – 10 as the conversion again slid by the outside of the post.

Harrogate did hit back with a try towards the end of the first quarter from their number seven Martin Dodds converted by their centre Nathan Wyman to make it 7 – 10. But this was against the run of play and an under the cosh Gate pack conceded a penalty try as the half hour came up extending Kirkby’s lead to 7 – 17.

The game then enters the uncontested scrum period where Gate scored two converted tries in the last ten minutes of the half to put them ahead 21 – 17 when the half time whistle went.

Kirkby were first to score in the second half when full back Martin Knapton scorched over for the bonus point fourth try in the tenth minute of the half, Fearon converting to make the score 21 – 24.

Kirkby were now rampant and playing some beautiful slick handling rugby. Dave Maka prominent going forward and in defence and Skipper Dave Barton having a field day at inside centre and Gate were opened up again by Kirkby scrum half Ben Walker with a typical sniping dart through to score try five. Fearon again on target with the conversion to extend the lead to 21 – 31 towards the end of the third quarter.

Try six epitomised the stress the Gate pack were under when they coughed up a second penalty try taking Kirkby to 21 –38 and it was, effectively, game over. As the clock ran down Harrogate did narrow the gap a little with an unconverted try to make the final score to 26 – 38 but the day and the honours were Kirkby’s and the smile on skipper Barton’s face as he left the pitch could probably be seen from space.

Sandal at home next week but whatever the result it will be overshadowed later in the clubhouse by the Yvonne Thorsen  SHAVE-A-THON event when Dave Maka goes completely bald, Alistair Macdonald removes a very substantial beard and Colin Corlett, half man half grizzly bear, has a back wax!! Don’t miss this!!!!!

Team

1   Dan Thompson 2   Tom Burtonwood 3   Braden Schiller 4   Craig Galbraith 5   James Thompson 6   Will Brown 7   Stu Storey 8   Dave Maka 9   Ben Walker 10 Mike Fearon 11 Harry Huddleston 12 Dave Barton 13 Tom Pickthall 14 Harry Ralston 15 Martyn Knapton

Bench

16 Ross Hobbs 17 Leandro  Kwiczor 18 Gareth Gore