Kirkby make it two from two

Kirkby made the journey down the M6 to Liverpool St Helens full of expectation after last week’s win at Underley Park. A dull day but dry as we arrived at the Moss Lane ground, a Club that boasts to be the oldest rugby club in England with an elite history of players who played for England in its heyday. Both Clubs are propping up the league and eager for points. Kirkby welcomed back Ben Walker to the team.
Liverpool kicked off and were soon on the attack but strong defence by Kirkby managed to turn the ball over and clear their line. The home side continued to drive Kirkby back into their own half but without success apart from a high tackle by Rogers which was rewarded by a yellow card. The home side were looking to capitalise on the visitors 14 men when from a scrum Nicholson made a break on the blind side before releasing the ball to Walker whose speed beat the chasing defence to give Kirkby the first try of the game with 15 minutes gone, unconverted. Back came Liverpool and 5 minutes later their pressure saw them draw level with a try down the wing. Kirkby had their backs to the wall as the home supporters urged their team on and were rewarded by a second try when their stand off received the ball from a scrum and dived over the try line. 12-5 with 15 minutes of the half remaining. Kirkby back to 15 men as the game ebbed and flowed until the Kirkby pack took control 10 yards out and Edmondson levelled the score with a try under the posts. This gave the initiative to the visitors as an infringement by Liverpool awarded a penalty to the opposition. From the line-out on the 10 yard line the forwards moved towards the try line and Cooper Dunn put Kirkby ahead by 7 points as the half time whistle blew. 12-19.
With rain in the air, Kirkby restarted and were on the attack but the home defence held and managed to keep their opponents at bay until the 10 minute, when from a scrum, Nicholson breached the defence and scored Kirkby’s fourth try in the corner to move the score to 12-24. Undaunted, the home team came back at Kirkby and went over the try line but the ball was deemed to be held up. A drop out from the try line saw a further attack with the visitors being found off side on three occasions and eventually a try went Liverpool’s way with the deficit being reduced to 7 points with 20 minutes remaining. Penalties started piling up for Kirkby as minor infringements saw the referee becoming breathless with blowing his whistle. This gave ground to the home side who capitalised with their fourth try to give only a 2 point difference in the score. As the clock ticked down the Kirkby defence had to work overtime but lost Walker to a yellow card as infringements gave the home side field advantage. Before the 80 minutes concluded, Kirkby had the final word as their forwards worked together and saw Kiwi Nikora Brown score to give the honours to the Cumbria side 27-31. A hard fought game that could have gone either way.
Next Saturday Kirkby have Bowdon at Underley Park who are riding high in the league.

DJH