Kirkby Lonsdale 21 Ilkley 12

The Christmas decorations were still on show in this prettiest of Cumbrian towns. Twelfth Night it was, though this was an Ilkley performance that had more in common with A Comedy of Errors, many of them unforced.

Ilkley never quite clicked and despite scoring their first try immediately before half-time and their second bringing them within three points of their hosts, it just didn’t work out.

Ill luck was matched by ill judgement throughout the match, not least when a totally needless penalty was conceded 30metres out in the last minute of playing time, when the score at 18-12.

Kirkby’s Skipper, Tom Pickthall kicked his fourth goal and bang went Ilkley’s losing bonus point.

Ilkley played into the wind in the first half and defended well for 20 minutes as Kirkby used the element intelligently.

The home side took the lead when they attacked from a scrum following a crooked Ilkley line-out throw.

Half a dozen phases later, the ball was spun out right and Ilkley ran out of defenders, allowing right wing Harry Ralston to touch down in the corner. Dave Barton’s conversion attempt was badly skewed.

A patient build-up from the kick off involving nice interplay between forwards and backs eventually led to a penalty, which Charles Morgan put into touch.

A good take by Steve Burns led to a well-directed maul which was held up. How Ilkley contrived to lose the ensuing scrum against the head, was hard to understand.

Barton banged the precious possession down the pitch and with the visitors waiting for a knock-on call, Kirkby prop Daniel Thompson reacted to score under the posts. The conversion made it 12-0.

Ilkley came into the game more and after scrum half Blake Morgan was held up a metre short after a quickly-taken penalty, Henrik Ek squeezed in at the corner.

Adouble-movement decision against Kirkby prevented another score early in the second half, but when Ilkley offended at a ruck, Pickthall took the three points on offer.

Kirkby’s scrum was disrupted when David Maka left the action and Ilkley seized the initiative. Ben Magee finally found himself in some space. Slaloming from left to right, Magee found Josh Hall in support on the right wing. Hall had plenty to do to score, but score he did and Charles Morgan’s conversion narrowed the gap to 15-12.

Poor handling spoilt a couple of promising moves before another ruck offence saw Pickthall double Kirkby’s lead.

Joe Lowes and Aaron Magee ran well from their own half and with Hall in close support, a try looked nailed on, only for the final pass to be adjudged forward.

Ilkley tried their level best to get the vital score, but their final attacking move of the match ended when they were penalised for holding on after the tackle.

The penalty allowed Kirkby back into the Ilkley 22 and then that fateful penalty, as an offside decision went against the Ilkley defence.