Another Game of Two Halves
By Mark Hodgkiss
Report from Bernard Parsons on a eventful afternoon
Conditions underfoot were excellent at Standbridge Lane as Kendal prepared to take on the high scoring Sandal team, although there was a chilly stiff breeze blowing up the pitch.
The only change to the website team selection was Harry Hampsey-Cook a centre from Sedbergh School, making his debut. He replaced Alex Pantechis on the bench who wasn’t fully fit.
Sandal kicked off into the wind. The towering kick came back on the breeze to be secured by the home side. Following a home penalty, the ball was moved quickly to the right and despite a crunching tackle by Myles Harrop, Sandal scored wide out. The conversion was missed. 5-0 after only two minutes.
From the restart Sandal were penalised and a kickable penalty was turned down. Glen Weightman went for the corner instead. The lineout was secured and a text book maul took the ball over the line with Robbie Collinson scoring the try. Chris Park’s conversion drifted wide. 5-5 and only four minutes played.
Zane Butler received a yellow card for a rash high tackle on halfway. However it had been a good response to the early setback and things got better when Dini Noyo made a fine tackle just inside his own half, to halt a flowing Sandal attack. He reacted the quicker and scooped up the ball and dashed fifty metres down the left hand touchline, outpacing the covering defence. Wow! Chris Park’s kick came back off the post. 5-10 after nine minutes.
The restarts were proving a problem with Wood, the impressive Sandal outside half, using the wind to great effect. Sandal scored again on ten minutes following a sloppy pass in the twenty two. Again no conversion. 10-10.
Two Kendal lineouts were lost in quick succession, which increasingly became the pattern as the game progressed. Sandal pressure resulted in a penalty under the posts for offside 13-10.
Sandal were running the ball at every opportunity which was to prove to be their undoing for Kendal’s third try. Glenn Weightman cleverly read a floated pass on Sandal twenty two, which he intercepted and ran in to score unchallenged. Easy extras for Chris Park 13-17 with only twenty four minutes gone.
Sandal’s response was immediate. Again the restart wasn’t cleared and the home team scored wide on the left. The conversion hit the post 18-17.
On twenty nine minutes Kendal got their first try bonus point of the season. Chris Downham picked up the ball thirty metres out, and charged for the line, shrugging off or running over would be tacklers to score under the posts. Chris Park converted 18-24.
Sandal were straight back on the attack and following one or two missed tackles Sandal scored near the posts, but the simple kick went wide. 23-24.
On thirty seven minutes Dini Noyo received a yellow card for a high tackle.
Shortly after, Dom Musetti went off with a shoulder injury, to be replaced by Jack Lashley.
Kendal very nearly scored again when Glen Weightman gathered a Chris Park kick and deftly chipped through for Nick Carlton, but the cover beat him and touched the ball dead.
The last action off the half was a break by Sandal but the final pass went to ground.
Half time 23-24
Kendal were first to attack in the second half. Zane Butler‘s run put Myles Harrop away down the left touch. He was stopped just short off the line. A penalty conceded allowed Sandal to clear the danger.
Myles Harrop was in the action again as he ran a kick back out of defence he was high tackled. No yellow ? Humm.
Six minutes into the half, Sandal retook the lead, which this time was not to be surrendered. Following forward pressure on the Kendal, a converted try was scored. 30 -23.
After ten minutes one Liam replaced another. Ridley for Hayton.
For the rest of the game Kendal had to defend for long periods. The penalty count mounted. Kirk Chettleburgh got the third Kendal yellow card, and eventually Sandal scored another seven pointer after twenty six minutes of the half. 37-24 after 30 minutes
Myles Harrop who never really recovered from the high tackle, was replaced by Harry Hampsey-Cook.
Following a similar pattern of play Sandal forced their way over for the game’s final score. 44-24
The game was now getting decidedly niggly. Tempers flaring!
Deep in injury time Steven Nelson received several punches to the head resulting in a yellow card for each side. Wiser men than me stood behind thought perhaps the assailant might have got a red.
A disappointing second half, following the exciting first. Well beaten in the end, but not for the lack of effort.
It was interesting that 13 of the 18 Sandal squad came through their junior section. Hopefully the Kendal junior section will bear similar fruit in years to come.
On a personal note many thanks for the advice in compiling this report from the faithful travelling support. Unfortunately some of their comments couldn’t possibly be printed.
It’s Billingham up next at Mintbridge so come down and support the lads as we look to keep our National league status. Maybe have a pie and a pint and support the club !
Your KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Dini Noyo
Dini got twice as many votes as the other five legitimate entries.
I was a little worries that there would be a tie, as not being there it would been a problem with a casting vote
I knew there was a danger of adding an "Others" box - I did not spot Rob Wightman or Steve Whitehead in Bernard's report, so I guess they never got on.