Spirit & Fight give Kirkby heart

It’s a few years since Waterloo, now Firwood Waterloo, visited Underley Park in this return match of the season. The Clubhouse was buzzing with the diners and supporters looking forward to this encounter although injuries have depleted the Kirkby XV. However we welcomed back David Cooper Dunne (Dunny) and Leandro Kwiczor.
The day looked like deteriorating as drizzle came down when the referee blew his whistle to commence this encounter. From the off Kirkby took the game to Waterloo whose defence cleared up field only to see their opponents put pressure back on their try line. Within 5 minutes the Kirkby pack gave Will Baines the opportunity to open the scoring which Higgs converted to raise the spirits of the home spectators. Undeterred, Waterloo came back at the home team but their spirited defence kept the visitors at bay until the 15th minute when their backs came into play and found the gap to score in the corner. Unconverted the score board moved to 7-5. Both packs were evenly matched leaving the backs to make the breaks which the visitors exploited as their six foot backs moved the ball out to the wing and the second try came on the 25th minute. Converted, the score moved to 7-12. From the restart Kirkby were after the next score but an attack by the Waterloo forwards drew a penalty for a high tackle which increased the score to 7-15. As the half drew to a close, a break by Nicholson looked like a try was on the cards until the visitors second row tried to inflict some damage on him which was awarded a yellow card by the referee. As the minutes ticked away, the Waterloo backs increased their lead with another try in the corner to give a half time score of 7-20.
The half time chit- chat seemed to have given the Kirkby lads some impetus and were on the attack from the start. With deteriorating weather and light the forwards lead the fight back and Baines was there again to score his second try and move the score to 12-20. The spectators enjoyed rugby flowing from end to end with great breaks thwarted by good defences. An attack up the centre of the field drew a penalty by the visitors which split the uprights and increased their score to 23. Still in the lead in this second half an interception by Oates looked like being the third try but the swift inside centre of Waterloo overhauled him to stop a further score. With 5 minutes remaining, the defending visitors stole the ball and a gap opened up for their number 10 to break the line with support from his backs saw the bonus point try for Waterloo and the score increase to 12-30. As time ticked away, a further break by Kirkby saw Bamforth head towards the try line and with only 15 yards short was caught by their covering wing to deny a further score. The referee blew up for time with another defeat for Kirkby, 12-30. This score did not reflect a competitive game played in good spirit but with a lot of heart for the Kirkby lads who deserved at least 1 point. This team of young lads is now jelling and giving them encouragement for the future. Victories will follow.
A break for Christmas now with the next home match on the 6th of January against Winnington Park.
With Best Wishes to you All for Christmas and 2024.