Kirkby Lonsdale 17-31 Ilkley

Of that Ilk

A personal view by Cammie Hodgkinson

The Kirkby Rams were still carrying injuries and unavailability’s into this game with Stu Storey, Alex Rogers, Ross Towers, James Fishwick, Gareth Gore, Dave Maka and Ben Walker all absent, although hooker Dan Armistead had recovered from the ‘hit’ he took at Kendal. Mike Fearon and skipper Dave Barton also returned from earlier injuries and a slightly reshuffled side saw Ryan Terry in his more accustomed position at full back with Scott Armstrong starting for the first time this season in his more preferred position on the wing and looking to attack, the problem was he couldn’t get the ball.

Ilkley kicked off towards the town in overcast but benign conditions and applied the early pressure. A kickable penalty was spurned in favour of an attacking lineout but the home defence held and Kirkby worked their way up field but lost possession and with sixteen minutes played a couple of missed tackles saw the visitors run in from halfway to score an unconverted try, 0 – 5.

Ten minutes later a straight yellow card for a technical offence in mid field, perhaps a bit harsh, saw Kirkby’s normally saintly Craig Galbraith in the bin for ten minutes. A man down and struggling with a high penalty count against which kept Ilkley on the front foot all day Kirkby were again under the cosh with thirty or so minutes played.

Ilkley attacked and another missed tackle let them in for their second try, this time converted to make the score 0 – 12. Full back Ryan Terry then also got the wrong side of the ref when he chased his own high kick out of defence and went for a fifty/fifty ball in the air but it was deemed an illegal tackle and he joined Galbraith in the bin.

With a two man advantage Ilkley didn’t have too much difficulty scoring their third try, the conversion taking them out to 0 – 19 when the half time whistle went. A switch for the second half saw Andrew Bargh come off the bench onto the wing with Armstrong moving in to outside centre and restored to fifteen men Kirkby had the better of the third quarter, but remained pointless, then against the run of play Ilkley got through for another converted try.

At 0 – 26 with twenty minutes to play the game was somewhat in the bag for the visitors and they hammered the nail in with their fifth try, unconverted to make it 0 – 31.

However, it was Kirkby who finished the stronger as Ilkley wobbled towards the end of the game and Kirkby scored three tries in the last fifteen minutes through Harry Ralston, Scott Armstrong and prop Dan Thompson on the score sheet again. Terry converting one try to make the final score a little more respectable at 17 – 31.

It was a pointless game for Kirkby which now sees them at tenth in the league but with a reasonable cushion of points between them and the lower teams. Although the local derby home game against Vale Of Lune next week is now of some significance, Vale are three places and fourteen points adrift of Kirkby but they walloped fellow strugglers Kendal on Saturday and will be looking to bring some momentum to Underley Park.

1   Ross Hobbs
2   Dan Armistead
3   Braden Schiller
4   Dan Thompson
5   Leandro Kwiczor
6   Craig Galbraith
7   James Thompson
8   James Barker
9   Harry Huddleston
10 Mike Fearon
11 Scott Armstrong
12 Dave Barton ( C )
13 Tom Pickthall
14 Harry Ralston
15 Ryan Terry
16 Alex Briggs
17 Callum Little
18 Andrew Bargh