U15s through to Cumbria Cup Final

Kirkby Lonsdale U15s went on the road again for their delayed semi final versus Cockermouth. Delayed from last week due to the heavy frost. Strong travelling support from parents and families lifted the lads on a cold day. The preparations went to plan. Coach Barker even managed a smile! The lads were fired up after their recent victories and the chance to get to the final again was a big carrot for the squad. The subs donned the much needed new bench jackets kindly sponsored by Designworks and Kudos Showers.
The game kicked off in cold but sunny conditions with Kirkby’s linespeed causing problems for Cockermouth straight away, but Cockermouth were resilient in defence to shut Kirkby out. Kirkby snuffed out a few Cockermouth attacks who probed with their big powerful runners. With Hill and Skelton-Montgomery tackling hard. Holdsworth, Woodburn, Ogden, Black and Barker steadfast in the ruck and breakdown, pilfering the ball several times. Kirkby Lonsdale started to build momentum, but credit to Cockermouth with its hard defence, Parry was unlucky not to score the opening try. However, Black, Skelton-Montgomery, Woodburn and Barker pressured, with Muldowney charging down a Cockermouth clearance kick with the Kirkby midfield winning the ball back, Hope on a mission from fullback collected an offload to score under the posts. Turners big boot converted. 7-0 to Kirkby. Cockermouth kicked off and Kirkby responded, taking the ball back with purpose winning a scrum which Hill, Ludlam and Harrison dominated, allowing Armer to spin out a pass to Kirkby’s midfield, but Cockermouth turned it over and kicked. But, Offside called, penalty to Kirkby. Captain Muldowney called upon Turner to convert. 10-0 Kirkby Lonsdale. Cockermouth rallied with some hard, direct running only for Turner, Hutchins, Hope and Southey to mop up in defence. The door was firmly shut. Kirkby continued with its back row and front 5 starting to roll forwards. Hill, Black, Barker and Muldowney taking the fight to the opposition in the loose. Hutchins causing havoc with this direct running from 12. Wilson on at 9 drifted the ball out to Gore, onto Southey, then Hope unleashed the powertrain Clayton to run in the second try. 17-0 at half-time.
The second half began with the oddest 10 minutes of rugby, Kirkby couldn’t catch a cold! Cockermouth started to dominate with their wingers coming into play, and their big ball carriers striking into Kirkby Lonsdale’s scrambling defence, panic was setting in with some erratic Kirkby kicking and an offside penalty. The tide was turning to Cockermouth, who powered over for a try 15-5. Coaches Gore, Barker, Turner and Muldowney were not happy. Game on! Kirkby went up a gear, conductor Gore stepped up the pace with Armer getting the pace back into the ruck ball. Woodburn, Luflam, Holdsworth and Stephens smashing like hulk on a bad day, the back row getting the ball back multiple times. Southey and Clayton unlucky not break free several times. Hopton making his Cumbria Cup debut making some nice support running positions. Then Jackson broke down the wing, supported by Hill, Stephens and Muldowney, who set up Parry to run in a try. 22-5. Southey again unleashed by Gore and Turner, set off like rocketeer down the wing and was caught with another high tackle. Kirkby nudged up the pitch putting Cockermouth on the back foot who conceded another penalty which Turner arrowed through the posts. Cockermouth didn’t give up, but a fluffed kick-off allowed Kirkby to win the ball back. Ludlam, Skelton-Montgomery, Harrison and Holdsworth dominating at scrum time set up a foundation for several phases of play that unlocked Cockermouths defence once again, with Clayton running in his second try out wide. Turner converted from the tightest of angles. 32-5. Kirkby were on a roll. Probing in attack right until the final whistle.
A proud set of coaches and parents. A true team performance, all 22 players worked hard, fought hard and stuck to rugby values. They stuck together throughout the game.Credit to Cockermouth who battled hard for the whole game, and a big shout out to the referee who let the game flow. Finally, to the parents who support and transport the squad week-in, week-out.
The final will be versus Kendal or Carlisle (Date and venue TBD).