Kirkby Lonsdale not out of the woods yet as Anselmians close the gap in relegation battle

1:10pm Tuesday 5th March 2013

By Scott Kirk

Anselmians 22

Kirkby Lonsdale 14

North One West

KIRKBY Lonsdale’s battle against the drop took a hit as Anselmians made inroads into the Cumbrians’ advantage over them.

Winger Josh Pewsey was bundled into touch five metres out for Kirkby after the away side got off to a good start, but with one of their first attacking plays of the game, centre Mafi scored a converted try.

He found the gaps in the defence after Anselmians received the ball following a speculative kick to give the home side a 7-0 lead midway through the first half.

A break from stand off Liam Cleary took him clear and deep into opposition territory but the supporting run on the outside from Pewsey went unnoticed and a chance had gone, although the move had taken play close to the Anselmians line.

From this they applied great pressure on the home pack, who were penalised three times as Kirkby drove them back over their line. The referee awarded a penalty try which levelled the scores at 7-7.

The home side made it 10-7 when Kirkby strayed offside and Mafi intercepted a pass and had the pace to run in his second score by the posts, which was converted as Anselmians went 17-7 up.

Things weren't looking too good for Kirkby and they got worse when Anselmians got a good low drive running at the Kirkby line which delivered their third try out wide on their left. The conversion was missed but at 22-7, the home team enjoyed a 15-point advantage at half time.

Kirkby tightened their defence up after half time as the game became an ill-tempered affair.

Ben Walker had a try ruled out for improper grounding after a great kick by Cleary, but the Underley Park outfit closed the gap when the forwards built up pressure on the Anselmians line.

Once bodies had been moved out of the way, prop Tim Groves picked up the ball six inches from the line and touched down, with the conversion closing the gap to 22-14.

Kirkby were still one point short of a bonus point, and Anselmians were reduced to 14 men when Brocken was yellow-cared as both sides went hammer and tongs in the last 15 minutes.

Kirkby dropped a try-scoring pass near the line with the last opportunity of the game, leaving Kirkby with a five-point advantage over Anselmians, who occupy the remaining relegation slot with six games to play.

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