The search for the first home win goes on, as Wirral were just too good, and despite a much better second half performance the damage had been done.
An injury to Ben Leacock meant Will Montgomery moved into the second row, and Matty Houghton returned in the back row. Kris Bratton was replaced on the wing by Alistair Thompson.
Kendal again conceded a very early try, with right wing Mark Williams going over for a try after a poor clearance kick had given Wirral a lineout on the left. Fullback Jimmy Annetts put the conversion over from the touchline. 0v7
Kendal were quickly back into the game with Liam Hayton stealing a Wirral line out throw.
Chris Downham made a good break from a scrum, the ball appeared to have been stolen by Wirral, but Matty Houghton managed to steal it back, and then Wirral tried to illegally kick the ball through to disrupted Kendal ball at the ruck, giving Glen Weightman the opportunity to narrow the gap. 3v7
The gap was quickly extended again, when Kendal were penalised at a scrum and Jimmy Annetts put over a penalty off the post, then extended it again a few minutes later, when Kendal were caught offside in the centre of the field. 3v13.
Wirral were coming up very quickly in defence to cut off Kendal passes. A number of Kendal players were however making good breaks, but too often handling errors saw the ball lost in contact.
Wirral scored a second try after half an hour. Kendal appeared harshly penalised for a possible high tackle. The kick was put to touch and from the lineout the Wirral forwards battered the Kendal line on the right, but when this failed, the ball was moved to the left, for a try in the corner, with James Annetts again putting over a difficult conversion. 3v20.
Two minutes later Wirral had a third try. A kick was put down the left wing, then the loose ball was hacked through, to be touched down. This time Annetts could not add the conversion. 3v25.
This was the score at half time, when Kendal made changes, with Duncan Green, Garry Holmes and Chris Park, coming on for Glen Chesher, Robbie Collinson and Glen Weightman.
Kendal started well, but soon conceded a fourth try. They had the ball in midfield, but it was stolen and another good kick down the wing, led to a try in the corner, converted by Jimmy Annetts. 3v32.
Kendal continued to improve, but were making little impact on the tight Wirral defence. Despite their large lead, Wirral seemed to be playing for time, with a string of injuries slowing play down.
After ten minutes, the Kendal pack drove forward from a lineout, and when the ball came out to teh backs, there was a deliberate knock on to stop the attack. This saw Wirral centre Danny Harvey given a yellow card, but Kendal then lost the resulting lineout, and Wirral stepped their play up again until returned to fifteen men.
After quarter of an hour, Matty Houghton who had been struggling with a number of injuries, was forced off. Rather than bring a forward on, Glen Weightman returned at outside half, with Nathan Wooff moving to the wing, and Alistair Thompson moved into the back row, where he has been playing for the Development team.
Kendal finally got over the Wirral line after twenty minutes. They had been a long period of pressure on the Wirral line. From a scrum, Chris Downham broke and fed Nathan Wooff to score in the right hand corner. 8v32.
With ten minutes to play, Kendal were reduced to fourteen men, when Chris Downham, who had been prominent in the improved second half performance, was yellow carded for a late tackle, as Wirral attacked down the left.
In injury time Kendal added a second try. Alistair Thompson who had seen more of the ball after his move to the pack, found a gap in the Wirral defence and powered through for a well taken try, converted by Chris Park. 15v32
So Kendal won the second half 12v7, but the damage had been done before the break, and as seems to often happen with the top teams this season, Wirral appeared to concentrate on defence, once they had secured their bonus point fourth try.
Despite the disappointing result, there were plenty of good individual performances, especially after the break, but too often forwards slowed the ball down, allowing the Wirral defence to regroup, and there were also too many handling errors, especially on the first half.
Another tough task next weekend, with a trip to third place Hull. They will be looking to move into second place, behind Preston Grasshoppers next weekend, with Lymm having a tough game with the visit of Harrogate.
Website Kendal Man of the Match : Chris Downham
Another barnstorming performance from Chris, who just edged out Will Montgomery.
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