AK Junior Colts (26) vs Kirkby Lonsdale (24)
2018 starts with a win for the Colts
Both teams came into this game having played very little rugby for over a month due to the weather and this weekend’s fixture looked likely to fall foul to the freezing temperature until ther offer of a local 4G pitch came tot he rescue. The reverse fixture in November was a tight affair with AK not at their best, losing narrowly. This game was an opportunity to put that right.
AK started brightly dominating the opening exchanges. The home side had a number of good attacking opportunties in the first 12 minutes, but were not able to capitalise through a combination of strong Kirkby defending and a series of AK mistakes. Against the run of play Kirkby took the lead after 14 minutes scoring under the posts and converting to take a 0-7 lead.
Kersal continued to press looking to get on to the scoreboard and after 25 mins they made the breakthrough. Aaron Antrobus and Anthony Tanner made ground through the middle driving the Kirkby defence back towards their own line, the recycled ball found Tom Gill who sent out a long missed pass to George Walker to score on the left. Gill converted excellently from the touchline to square the game at 7-7.
On 33 mins AK gave away a penalty 25m out in front of their own posts, Kirkby elected to kick for goal, regaining the lead 7-10 going into into the break.
Kersal had the throw in at the line out on 43 mins. The ball evaded the jumpers landing with Tom Sullivan at the back who secured to set up the play. The ball was spread out to Tom Gill at Fly Half 22 out who changed direction stepping back inside. His pace and strength took him through the defensive line to score in the right hand corner to give AK the lead again - 12-10.
The game was becoming increasingly intense with both teams showing determination, but Kersal were now in control and showing greater desire. Kirkby had possession on their own line, Tom Sullivan was quick to steal as the ball went lose and darted over the line to extend the lead. Tom Gill’s kick made it 19-10 to AK.
Kirkby Lonsdale were not giving up though and on 58 mins they scored and converted to narrow the deficit to 19-17. As the game entered the last ten minutes the intensity was at its highest with both teams sensing an opportunity to take the points. On 69 minutes AK were awarded a penalty 5 metres out, Sam Walsh was quick to react feeding Tom Sullivan who saw a gap going over from close range to score his second try of the match. Max Brooks converted to make it 26-17. That should have been it, AK just had to secure the restart and retain possession, but they gave the ball away cheaply which allowed Kirkby to score with the last play of the game. The final score was closer than it should have been.
Final score 26-24
Tries - George Walker, Tom Gill, Tom Sullivan (2)
Conversions - Tom Gill (2), Max Brooks