Harrogate took the lead for the first time with just four minutes of normal time to play, to end a much improved Kendal defensive performace.
There were few changes after the big defeat at Preston Grasshoppers last weekend. Dini Noyo moved to scrum half with Brett Ashley coming onto the wing. Garry Holmes moved to hooker, with Dan Greenwood taking his place in the back row. Chris Park and Ben Dixon came in on the bench. In a late change Dom Musetti, suffering from a virus, moved to the bench with jack lashley starting.
Harrogate started the day in fourth place sixteen points ahead of Kendal, with two games in hand against league strugglers, but Kendal had pushed them for much of the away game, earlier in the season.
There was a strong crossfield wind, but it did not spoil the game, and in the opening exchanges both teams seemed keen to play with the ball in hand, rather than kicking.
With Dom Musetti on the bench, No.8 Matthew Charters led the team out.
After sustaining some early pressure from Harrogate, Kendal had a good attack, with Glen Weightman breaking through, with the move taken on by Nathan Wooff, but he could not get the ball away to Kris Bratton in the left wing.
Kendal took the lead after twelve minutes. Kris Bratton collected a Harrogate clearance kick near halfway, and weaved through, beating a number of attempted tackles, then sprinting away to score. Glen Weightman converted. 7v0.
Kendal were quickly back on attack. There was a good run from Dini Noyo, who offloaded to Danny Barker, who made ground, then passed back to Dini Noyo, who had stayed in support. When the ball was re-cycled, Harrogate were penalised, and Glen Weightman extended the Kendal lead. 10v0.
The fast Kendal defence was forcing a number of handling errors from Harrogate.
For a second week, the Kendal scrum was in trouble, and were forced to concede a number of penalties.
With half an hour played, Harrogate narrowed the lead. Kendal seemed to have stolen the ball, but the referee decided illegally, and Harrogate outside half Luke White put the kick over. 10v3
jack lashley came off with Dom Musetti coming on.
Using the wind, Glen Weightman put a mammoth kick from his own twenty-two, to close to the Harrogate line, but Harrogate won the lineout and held out until half time.
Kendal started the second half putting a number of phases of play together, but the Harrogate defence held out.
Early in the half Chris Park came on for Nathan Wooff, whilst jack lashley returned again for Dom Musetti.
Kendal held out until twenty five minutes into the half, when Harrogate outside half Luke White, put over a penalty when Kendal were caught offside. 10v6
Kendal made a further change with Ben Dixon coming on for Dan Greenwood.
Kendal quickly extended their lead again. Glen Weightman, put a long kick to touch, and at the lineout Harrogate conceded a scrum for a not straight throw. After earlier dominating in the scrum, Harrogate conceded a penalty. Substitute Chris Park, put over the difficult kick, into the cross wind. 13v6.
With only eight minutes to play, when awarded a penalty, Harrogate chose to go for the points, rather than look for a try to tie the scores, and Luke White narrowed the lead. 13v9.
Dom Musetti returned for jack lashley.
The re-started kick was returned by Harrogate, and the ball was fumbled, to give Harrogate a scrum. There was then a good run from the scrum, which took play from halfway into the Kendal twenty two, but the defence got back and held out forcing Harrogate into touch.
Harrogate stole the Kendal throw, and their forwards set up a drive for the line. Throughout the afternoon, the Kendal forwards had held out against this tactic, but this time they could not stop Harrogate getting to the line and grounding the ball to take the lead. The conversion failed. 13v14.
Harrogate played the game out, with their forwards retaining the ball, often going backwards, but making sure Kendal had no chances, and when time ran out the ball was put to touch for a narrow victory.
A much improved Kendal defensive performance, but the difficulties in winning clean ball at both set pieces, meant the back division were rarely given opportunities to attack.
Another tough game next weekend, with a visit to second place Lymm, but they could only get a narrow win against Birkenhead Park this weekend. The standout result however is undoubtedly Preston Grasshoppers first loss of the season, at Kirkby Lonsdale
Your KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Ben Leacock