A sunny day greeted Bowdon RUFC to Underley Park following two previous attempts to play this fixture which were cancelled due to frost. Riding high in the league the visitors were looking to capitalise on their position.
Kirkby had to call up Bamforth after Nicholson ended up in hospital following a fall in the morning. This was to be a testing time for Kirkby as a number of regulars were not available.
Kirkby kicked off and were quickly on the defensive as the Bowdon forwards attacked but without success. The defence held and the home side moved the ball back into the visitors half. A knock on gave the scrum to Bowdon who kicked downfield gaining ground for a Kirkby line out. A lost ball gave the initiative to the visitors when their forwards drove over for the first score of the match in the corner with 10 minutes gone. 0-5.
A little at sea, the home side saw a further try by the Bowdon backs 5 minutes later as their number 15 put the ball down in the corner. Unconverted the score moved to 0-10.
Kirkby came back with some good moves to put them within their opponents 25. They drew a penalty and from the line out their forwards rumbled over for Benson to score a come back try and bring the score to 5-10. There was little to chose between the sides as play moved into the final 10 minutes of the half when from a scrum, Bamforth made a break and kicked ahead for Oates to chase but with his opposing winger catching him he chipped the ball too far and saw it bounce over the dead ball line. The remainder of the half belonged to Kirkby but the try line eluded them.
Bowdon commenced the second half but Kirkby moved the ball along the back line but a knock on gave the opposition the scum. A further knock on by the visitors gave the home side the ball and a kick downfield was chased by the backs and in the ensuing ruck Kirkby lost Terry to a yellow card. Down to 14 players, the home side were on the defensive. The game became scrappy with antagonism showing on both sets of players. The home side were giving away penalties when 20 minutes in, handbags were out and two further players, one from either side, spent 10 minutes off the pitch. The penalty however went to Bowdon who slotted the kick to extend their lead to 13. One could be biased about some of the decisions but Kirkby seemed to rack up the penalty count 6 against 19, which lost many yards that the lads had worked so hard to gain. With 5 minutes remaining the Bowdon backs scored a try in the corner to give the last word to them, until from a scrum, handbags were out again resulting with a red card to the visitors openside flanker. The referee had obviously had enough and blew for full time. A good first half by both teams but poor second half marred by penalties which lost the game for the home side.
Next week Altrincham Kersal visit Underley Park, a game the lads need to win.