1st XV - Match centre

Kendal
Billingham
G Weightman, D Armstrong, Z Butler
Full time
G Weightman
G Weightman
Sat 8 Apr 15:00 - RFU National League - National League 3 North

Great Fightback not Quite Enough

Fifteen points down five minutes into the second half, the team then fought back to score three tries and came close to snatching an unlikely victory.

For a second year the club had ideal weather for a big final game of the season, to attract a big crowd.

Duncan Green and Chris Downham were back from injury, but Chris Park was out, so the back division was re-organised, with Mark Carruthers slotting in at fullback.

Billingham had the better of the opening exchanges, and as in the away game before Christmas, indicated their intent to move the ball quickly at every opportunity. They opened the scoring after five minutes when Kendal were caught offside at a ruck, and their scrum half slotted home a penalty. 0v3

Billingham won the kick off ball back and immediately put Kendal under pressure again, but the Kendal defence proved equal to everything Billingham threw at it. When Kendal had the ball, the Billingham defence made sure they could not make any ground upfield , to relieve the pressure.

Billingham finally added to their score after twenty five minutes. From a penalty, they chose to take a scrum, having had the better of the encounters there. Their burley No.8 picked up and powered through some tackles to score, the scrum half again converted. 0v10.

Kendal were playing towards the clubhouse, and the big crowd on the “Bank” had had to watch the game at a distance, but shortly after the Billingham score, they were (almost) to get what they had come for.

Glenn Weightman put a long penalty kick to touch near the line. Ben Leacock gathered the throw and the forwards drove to the line, and the “Bank” roar went up. Billingham were however able to hold the drive up. The referee decided illegally, and Kendal were awarded a penalty. James Gough took it quickly only to be immediately tackled by a Billingham player, which earned him ten minutes on the side lines.

Kendal took a scrum, but when the ball was moved left, it when stopped when a Billingham hand get to the ball. The referee decided it was a deliberate knock on, and awarded Kendal a penalty, so the perpetrator seemed lucky to have not joined his colleague on the touchlines.

This time the ball was put to touch, and when the lineout was won, the ball was moved wide, with Chris Downham made a powerful run through the defence, but he was stopped before the line, and although the ball was re-cycled, it was knocked on, and the chance was gone.

A couple of penalties meant, when restored to fifteen men, it was Billingham again on the attack on Kendal’s line, and the Kendal defence again did well to hold out, until half time.

The slender 0v10 half time lead seemed poor reward for the Billingham dominance, and Kendal were still in the game, but Billingham again started the half well. When after five minutes, a Kendal player was penalised for a high tackle, the ball was moved quickly for the Billingham centre to go over for an unconverted try, and it was beginning to look as if was not going to be the end to life at Mint Bridge that everyone wanted.

However something we should have learnt in recent seasons, is not to write this Kendal team off, as they came straight back into the game.

After good build up work, the ball seemed to have been moved in the wrong direction, to Zane Butler who was isolated on the right wing, but he did very well to make ground, then the ball was taken on by the only player in support, Duncan Green, who was showing no ill effects of his recent layoff. Although he was stopped, when the ball was moved wide, Glenn Wightman, who as ever had been looking for openings, finally found one, and scythed through for a try under the posts, and then added the conversion. 7v15 with half an hour to play.

Billingham then showed why they are pushing for a top four finish. The ball was first moved right, then back left, and despite the Kendal defence somehow managing to get across to stop what looked a certain try, the ball was then moved back right again, and resistance finally ran out, for a third Billingham try, which was converted by their scrum half to restore their lead. 7v22.

Kendal made their first substitution with Will Montgomery coming on for Dom Musetti.

The scoring spree continued, and this time it was Kendal’s turn. From a lineout in midfield, Chris Downham, again demonstrated his speed powering through, then just when it looked as he could go all the way, delivering an excellent pass to Damian Armstrong, who had done well to be in support. Whilst he was stopped near the line, he managed to dive over for the score. 12v22

Dom Musetti returned in place of Ben Leacock, and then Mark Carruthers, who had had another good game playing at fullback, was replaced by Nathan Wooff.

Kendal were upping their game, with the old heads of Duncan Green, Liam Hayton and James Gough, continually making ground, but the Billingham defence was as well organised as their attack, and there were few try scoring opportunities.

With ten minutes to play, when Kendal were awarded a penalty in midfield, the ball was give to Glenn Weightman to try to reduce the gap to a single score with a long range kick, and he delivered. 15v22.

Josh Coyle came off the bench to replace Matty Houghton in the back row.

Kendal continued to push for the important next score, but when a forward was isolated a penalty was conceded to allow Billingham to relieve the pressure.

Looking for a fourth try to extend the lead, but also to gain an important bonus point, Billingham tried to run the ball out of defence. This appeared to be working well, but the gamble then backfired as a pass went loose, and Zane Butler gathered and did not need Nathan Wooff who was in close support, to get to the line for the try, The Billingham defence had however got back to force the ball to be grounded near the corner flag, giving Glenn Weightman a difficult kick to level the scores. It was a good effort, but drifted wide.

With five minutes still to play, both teams went looking for another score.

Dini Noyo was forced off with an injury, and Mark Carruthers returned to the field

Glenn Weightman appeared to have broken through again, but when he was stopped, the referee quickly blew for failing to release the ball. Billingham put the ball to touch, and played a simple game, keeping the ball tight and inducing Kendal penalties, which ran the clock down, and allowed Billingham to hold on for victory.

So not the result we all hoped for, but Billingham again looked a really good side, with a strong defence, and excellent handling skills. So to fight back from fifteen points down, to within two points at the final whistle, seems a fitting end, to sign off life at the old Mint Bridge.

Probably many more exciting encounters to come at the New Mint Bridge from September, although hopefully with a different outcome.

There is still one more game to come, with a daunting trip to third place Hull in a fortnight, but as proved this afternoon, the team tend to raise its game for the best, so who knows what will happen.

FOOTNOTE : A Morley win against Lymm means Kendal are guaranteed a seventh place finish.

WEBSITE KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Chris Downham
Chris just edged out Ben Leacock, with eleven of the starting lineout getting at least a vote, but Chris and Ben were well ahead of the rest.

A typical all action performance from Chris, with the run, then perfectly timed pass for Damian Armstrong's try just one of the highlights.


Kendal
15Mark Carruthers
14Zane Butler
13Damian Armstrong
12Danny Barker
11Dini Noyo
10Glenn Weightman
9James Gough
1Glenn Chesher
2Duncan Green
3Dom Musetti
4Liam Hayton
5Ben Leacock
6Joe Robinson
7Matty Houghton
8Chris Downham
subMark Carruthers
subJosh Coyle
subWill Montgomery

Referee : Peter Stentiford (RFU North)

ActionTeamNoNameTimeKenBil
PenBillingham9603
TryBillingham212608
ConBillingham927010
Y/CBillingham?29010
= = = = = = = = =HALF TIME40+2010
TryBillingham1344015
TryKendal10Glenn Weightman48515
ConKendal10Glenn Weightman49715
TryBillingham?52720
ConBillingham953722
sub-onKendal19Will Montgomery54722
sub-offKendal3Dom Musetti54722
TryKendal13Damian Armstrong571222
sub-onKendal1Dom Musetti611222
sub-offKendal5Ben Leacock611222
sub-onKendalNathan Wooff671222
sub-offKendal15Mark Carruthers671222
PenKendal10Glenn Weightman691522
sub-onKendal17Josh Coyle701522
sub-offKendal7Matty Houghton701522
TryKendal14Zane Butler752022
sub-onKendal15Mark Carruthers792022
sub-offKendal11Dini Noyo792022
= = = = = = = = =FULL TIME832022

Key moments

48:00
Try Glenn Weightman scores for Kendal
49:00
Conversion Glenn Weightman kicks a conversion for Kendal
57:00
Try Damian Armstrong scores for Kendal
69:00
Penalty Glenn Weightman kicks a penalty for Kendal
75:00
Try Zane Butler scores for Kendal

Highlights

View 0 new events
80:00 +10:00 Player of the Match
Chris Downham is awarded player of the match for Kendal
75:00 Try 20 - 0
Zane Butler scores for Kendal
70:00 Sub On
Joshua Coyle is substituted on for Kendal
69:00 Penalty 15 - 0
Glenn Weightman kicks a penalty for Kendal
67:00 Sub On
Nathan Wooff is substituted on for Kendal
57:00 Try 12 - 0
Damian Armstrong scores for Kendal
54:00 Sub On
Will Montgomery is substituted on for Kendal
49:00 Conversion 7 - 0
Glenn Weightman kicks a conversion for Kendal
48:00 Try 5 - 0
Glenn Weightman scores for Kendal
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Kendal
  • Billingham
  • 0
  • Glenn Weightman Try 48:00'
  • Glenn Weightman Conversion 49:00'
  • Will Montgomery Sub On 54:00'
  • Damian Armstrong Try 57:00'
  • Nathan Wooff Sub On 67:00'
  • Glenn Weightman Penalty 69:00'
  • Joshua Coyle Sub On 70:00'
  • Zane Butler Try 75:00'
  • Chris Downham Player of the Match 80:00 +10:00'

Team selection

Carruthers, Mark Carruthers, Mark
Butler, Zane Butler, Zane
Armstrong, Damian Armstrong, Damian
Barker, Danny Barker, Danny
Noyo, Dini Noyo, Dini
Weightman, Glenn Weightman, Glenn
Gough, James Gough, James
Downham, Chris Downham, Chris
Houghton, Matty Houghton, Matty
Robinson, Joe Robinson, Joe
Leacock, Ben Leacock, Ben
Hayton, Liam Hayton, Liam
Musetti, Dom Musetti, Dom
Green, Duncan Green, Duncan
Chesher, Glenn Chesher, Glenn

League round up

Other National League 3 North results

41
30
Lymm
11
41
Huddersfield
5
49
Ilkley

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Huddersfield 26 124
2. Rossendale 26 99
3. Hull 26 97
4. Wirral 26 89
5. Billingham 26 87
6. Sandal 26 85
7. Kendal 26 65

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