Blowing Away the Cobwebs
A far from perfect performance but a burst of 27 points around half time saw the team home to a much needed victory against a spirited Pocklington team
A number of changes, the shock news being Matty Houghton departure to join Wharfdale, which saw Jacob Sutton moved to the back row, and Robbie Collinson coming in at hooker. Ross Mckay came in for the injured Liam Hayton, whilst Kris Bratton moved to the centre to replace the injured Mike Fearon and Brett Ashley came in on the wing.
Visitors Pocklington are having a tough first season in the league, currently sitting at the foot of the table.
As in the away game Pocklington started well, but it was Kendal who opened the scoring. When Pocklington lost the ball near halfway, Kris Bratton got to the ball first, and showed good footballing skills to dribble the ball through, and whilst the ball would not bounce up for him to gather, he followed it to the line, to dive on it for the score. 5v0
Pocklington continued to have the majority of the ball, keeping it through numerous phases without really threatening a try. They opened their scoring after ten minutes, with a penalty, when Kendal failed to release the ball after a tackle. 5v3
Kendal came more into the game, but it took until twenty five minutes of half for the lead to be extended with a Chris Park penalty. 8v3
Kendal were quickly on the attack again, and a try looked certain as the ball was moved left across the field on the line, only for a Pocklington player to knock the ball down to end the move. After awarding a penalty, it looked as if the referee was about to issue a yellow card, but decided to take no further action.
The forwards then drove to the line, and after a number of players had failed to get across, Jacob Sutton burrowed over for a try. Chris Park’s difficult conversion came back off the post. 13v3.
Kendal had a let off when a good Pocklington kick through saw Dini Noyo caught as he tried to run out of defence, and he was forced to concede a penalty, for failing to release the ball in the tackle. The penalty kick failed, but Kendal were immediately back under pressure, as the restart kick was charged down, and gathered by a Pocklington player who set off for the line. Whilst the Kendal defence ended the initial danger, another penalty was conceded, and this time Pocklington outside half Dan Elliot made no mistake. 13v6.
The gap was extended again five minutes later, when despite being waved back by the referee after coming up too quickly, the Pocklington defence remained offside, and Chris Park added the resulting penalty. 16v6
In injury time the lead was further extended with a third Kendal try. From a penalty, lineout the Kenal pack drove for the line, with James Gough taking the ball to race over for the score. Chris Park added the conversion, with the final kick of the half. 23v6
Kendal started the second half at pace, and quickly extended their lead. From a lineout the throw failed to find its intended target, but instead fell for Glenn Chesher, who made ground, and whilst he was stopped, the forwards took the ball on, with Jacob Sutton breaking away to score his second try. 28v6
Kris Bratton made another run down the wing, chasing his own kick, but knocked on when he tried to pick the ball up.
Kendal stayed on the attack. Ben Dixon made a good run down the left, and when the ball came back to Glen Weightman, he appeared to go for a gap, but then instead delivered the perfect pass to Matt Charters coming at speed, to rampage through, breaking through a number of attempted tackles to score. Chris Park added the conversion. 35v6
The final points of a burst of twenty seven points in a thirteen minute period around halftime, came two minutes later. A first change was planned by Kendal, with Nathan Wooff coming on for Brett Ashley, but a quickly taken throw in kept Ashley on the field, and involved in a move which set up probably the best try of the game. The ball was moved across field, but a pass seemed to have gone astray, only for Ashley to rescue it, and when the ball was then moved to Ben Dixon on the left wing, he again showed his speed to power down the wing, with a slight change of pace allowing him to beat the defence, to go from halfway to score. 40v6.
Following the score, Kendal made their change, and ten minutes later made a second with Garry Holmes coming on for Ben Dixon.
After twenty five minutes Pocklington were reduced to fourteen men, when hooker David Birch was yellow carded, when he knocked on going for an interception to end another Kendal attack, which seem harsh after his team mate had escaped the more clear cut decision in the first half.
From the resulting lineout the forwards drove well for the line, and the ball was then moved to Dom Musetti who crashed over for his first try for the club in his fifty-fifth game. Chris Park added the conversion. 47v6
Kendal made a further change with Glenn Chesher replaced by Jack Lashley making a welcome return after a long period out injured. He was quickly involved in the game making ground with ball in hand, and attempting to steal Pocklington ball whenever they had it.
There were two further changes with Ben Dixon and Brett Ashley returning for Jacob Sutton and James Gough, who had both had good games.
There was no further scoring in the remaining quarter of an hour of play.
A much tougher tests to come, away at leaders Preston Grasshoppers next weekend, and then Harrogate are the next visitors to Mintbridge in a fortnight.
Your KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Matt Charters
The second largest number of votes this season, with ten players getting at least one, but Matt had a clear lead on all the rest
ADVANCE WARNING : Sorry, no early match report next weekend vs Preston Grasshoppers - It should be available early on Sunday.