Excellent Second Half Performance despite Defeat
A patched up Kendal team fought back from 21v0 down at half time and deserved more than a single second half score
Already without Mike Fearon and Chris Park, there were further late changes to the team, with Kris Bratton and Ben Leacock dropping out. This lead to a re-organisation with Dan Wilson coming in on the right wing for his first team debut, Brett Ashley moving into the centre, and Dini Noyo going to scrum half, with Matthew Kaye swapping places onto the wing. In the pack Will Montgomery moved into the second row, with Ben Dixon coming into the back row, and Rob Wightman taking his place on an all forward bench.
Heavy morning rain meant the pitch was soft, and whilst both teams wanted to play, the referee had reportedly warned he may have to stop the game, if there were safety fears. Fortunately the rain held off for the first half, and was only light in the second, and whilst tough going under foot, the pitch held up well.
It was another poor start with some loose Kendal kicks, one of which resulted in an early Lymm try. A Lymm player gathered a Kendal kick on his twenty two under no pressure. The ball was moved left then there was a crossfield kick to the left wing. The ball was gathered well, and he had a good run into the Kendal twenty two. Whilst the Kendal defence got back to make the tackle, the ball was offloaded for a try. The difficult conversion from fullback Cormac Nolan went over off the post. 7v0.
Kendal were soon into the game, and a Glen Weightman penalty, which failed to find touch, did put them on the attack. The ball was knocked in field by a Lymm player, but then there was confusion as the ball went loose, with Dan Wilson on the Kendal wing putting pressure on the defence. A pass went to ground behind the try line, forcing Lymm to touchdown before a Kendal hand could get to the ball, conceding a scrum.
The Kendal forwards worked hard on the line, but the Lymm defence was equal to everything thrown at them, and Kendal could not get across the line.
When Lymm cleared their lines, they were immediately back in defence. Dini Noyo spotted a space and put a kick into the corner, the ball was held up on the soft ground, forcing Lymm to put it to touch near the corner flag. Kendal won the line and the forwards drove again, but when they could not get across the ball was moved wide, and was knocked forward in the centre.
Having weathered the storm Lymm went to the other end of the field, and quick re-cycling of the ball made space for a try, which was again converted by Cormac Nolan 14v0
It looked as if Lymm had a third try, after a good run down the right wing, but a few last gasp tackles from the Kendal defence forced a penalty, to allow the line to be cleared.
Will Montgomery who had been doing well in the lineout, stealing some Lymm ball, was forced off with an injury late in the half, with Rob Wightman coming on in his place.
As the half came to an end, Lymm’s speed of recycling gave them a third converted try. 21v0
Despite the scoreline, Kendal had played well in the first half, but had not been able to convert their changes into points, whilst Lymm had taken theirs.
At half time jack lashley replaced Dom Musetti, but he was injured early in the half, and was forced off after ten minutes. Robbie Collinson came on at hooker, with Garry Holmes moving to prop.
Collinson had an immediate impact, finding space down the left and making a good run, which once the forwards had taken the ball on, it was spread wide only for the ball to be lost as Danny Barker went for the line.
Kendal stayed on the attack, and when awarded a penalty, took a scrum and despite the re-organisation, secured the ball, but when the ball came out were forced backwards, only for Robbie Collinson, to again find space, and make a lot of ground towards the line. When the ball came back, Glen Weightman found Danny Barker, who given a second chance made no mistake, break through a tackle to touchdown with Glen Weightman adding the conversion. 21v7.
Kendal were quickly back on the attack and when awarded a scrum on the Lymm line, brought jack lashley back on, taking Robbie Collinson off, but he was soon back, with Brett Ashley forced off, meaning Ben Dixon had to move onto the right wing.
It appeared Kendal had their second try, after some quick thinking by Matthew Kaye. A poor Lymm clearance kick went to touch in the twenty two, Kaye quickly gathered the ball and took a quick throw to jack lashley, who unmarked, was able to go over for what appeared to be a try, only for the referee to call play back for the original lineout.
As the game came to a close Lymm had one of their first spells of pressure of the half in the Kendal twenty two. After a good run from a backrow man, he looked certain to score, only to lose the slippery ball as he crossed the line.
In injury time, Kendal were forced into another change with Ben Dixon going off, so Dom Musetti returned, with Robbie Collinson finishing the game on the right wing.
Lymm stayed on the attack, and seemed to have an overlap on the left, only for the ball to go to ground. Nathan Wooff was quickly through, hacking the ball upfield, then excellent gathered the ball off the ground on the move. The ball was moved out to Matthew Kaye on the wing, and he went for the line, only to be caught and forced into touch, to end the game.
Despite the scoreline, this was a good performance by the patched up team, and there were certainly times in the second half, when it appeared an unexpected result could be pulled off. Lymm may not have the star players of some of their rivals for the play-off place, but were very well organised in both attack and defence, and the real difference between the two teams was their ability to turn chances into points.
A weekend off next Saturday (but the Development team are due to be at home), but then a key game against Morley the week after, who picked up a third win in four games (and only lost by 10 points at Hull in the other), and will be looking to pick up more vital league points in their next few games, as their season ends against three of the current top four.
KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Robbie Collinson
Robbie had an immediate impact when coming off the bench
Close behind him were debutant Dan Wilson, Ross Mckay and Glenn Chesher.