Kirkby Lonsdale 31, Blaydon 25

Kirkby Lonsdale 31 – 25 Blaydon

Having completed the double last season over the home side and on the back of 5 successive victories, second placed Blaydon seemed to be confident of recording another victory.   However, right from the start things did not go to plan and a knock on from the kick off and a missed tackle soon saw the home side take advantage and open up a 14 point lead as early as the 9th minute after tries by man of the match scrum half Ben Walker and winger Andrew Bargh both converted by Ryan Terry.
A reality check for Blaydon who immediately replied with a number of penetrating back moves but a mixture of poor handling and good home defence saw them take 10 minutes to reduce the arrears with a superb counter attack from half way which was Ryan Foreman and Nathan Bailey combine to puy full back Jordan Carey over between the posts for Foreman to add the extras.
Foreman very soon added a simple penalty from 30 metres and the visiting support sat back expecting another victory but continued good defence by Kirkby Lonsdale kept them out.   Two further home tries from breakdowns by hooker Dan Armistead and winger Harry Huddleston who finished off from 30 metres saw the gap widened.   Terry added the extras and just before half time a further 3 points following a forward indiscretion.   Blaydon’s only reply was another Foreman penalty.
Half time arrived with a 31 – 13 scoreline for Kirkby Lonsdale self inflicted by Blaydon’s poor handling and wrong options but immediately on the resumption, Blaydon upped a gear and 10 minutes inside the home 22 eventually saw prop Elliott Beattie score an unconverted try to narrow the gap.   The visitors continued to attack but tenacious defence by the home side continually denied them for the next 25 minutes before, with time ruynning out, Rob Lenderyou scored between the posts for Foreman to convert.
The home side kicked off with only a minute remaining but Blaydon collected and patient play, a ploy which was missing in the first half, saw Blaydon move the ball from one side to the other finishing up with a three on one overlap 20 metres out.    Unfortunately a pass was not taken and the referee, former Blaydon No 8 Gavin Jones, blew for time with the visitors reflecting after having completely dominated the second period, they only scored twice.
Next week is a rest week and we result on 7th December at home against 4th placed Harrogate.
Please note that the game against Harrogate sees the pre-match President’s Christmas Lunch priced at £20 with wine included.   Christmas theme!!!!   Dig out your Christmas jumpers!

Jim Huxley