Another Good Performance - but no reward
By Mark Hodgkiss
A much changed team battled all the way but Rossendale were just too good
It was a much changed team to the one that started against Billingham a fortnight ago. Garry Holmes, Dom Musetti, and John Dervey returned after injury. Liam Hayton, Danny Barker and Dini Noyo who had been available also came into the team, whilst New Zealander Nathan McCloy make a first team debut at outside half, with Glen Weightman moving into the centre and Zane Butler to the wing. Ben Dixon was promoted from the bench, to replace the injured Kirk Chettelburgh, with Chris Evans come onto the bench to replace him. Billy Coxon started a game for the first time in several years, to replace Mark Irving who has been suspended for five weeks, after his sending off against Billingham.
There was a strong crossfield wind which favoured Kendal who played down the slope in the first half.
Rossendale had the better of the opening exchange, keeping the ball through multiple phases with slick handling but rarely threatened the Kendal line as the defence held firm.
Kendal slowly came more into the game, with Dini Noyo, playing at scrum half, getting the ball moving quickly, but good Rossendale defence meant Kendal were often losing ground. New outside half Nathan McCloy put in a number of long touch finding kicks.
Billy Coxon rolled back the years on a number of occasions making ground with powerful burst, taking Rossendale tacklers with him.
After half an hour of play, John Dervey was forced off with a knee injury and his place was taken by Chris Evans.
Towards the end of the half Kendal found themselves on a rare visit to the Rossendale twenty two with a good lineout drive took towards the line, but a player broke away, and was isolated and the chance went.
In injury time the Rossendale pack made no mistake, when given a similar opportunity and drove over for a try. The conversion attempt struck the post in the final action of the half. 5v0
Kendal started the second half well, but Rossendale increased their lead within the first five minutes. From a lineout on the right there were a number of good breaks, with the ball been moved quickly out of tackles, and when the ball was moved into midfield, with the Kendal defence committed, centre Jack Ward had an unopposed run to the line, with outside half Lewis Allan adding the conversion 12v0
After twelve minutes Kendal were reduced to fourteen men. Danny Barker seemed unfortunate to be yellow carded, as the tackled Rosendale player appeared not to release the ball, and when Barker tried to steal it, he was penalised.
From the resulting scrum, the ball when loose, but scrum half Harrison Moulding used this to his advantage, to gather and exploit the gap in the Kendal defence to score. 17v0
After the score Garry Holmes went off to be replaced by Robbie Collinson.
Kendal struck back almost immediately. From the kick off Rossendale tried to launch an attack, but the referee adjudged a pass was forward. From the resulting scrum just inside the Rossendale half, Chris Downham, picked up and managed to break away and go all the way to the line for a try. 17v5
Five minutes later, Kendal made another change with Matthew Kaye coming on for Chris Park, with Dini Noyo dropping back to fullback.
Rossendale mistakes were giving Kendal ball, and there were a number of good runs, but all came to nothing, as the team pushed for a second try which would give them a bonus point, and the opportunity to look for a winning score.
As the game came to the end of normal time, Rossendale sealed victory with a fourth bonus point try. Flanker Phil Mills, who had had an excellent afternoon, broke through to set up fellow flanker Rob Bramhall for the try, which outside half Lewis Allen converted. 24v5.
In injury time Dini Noyo was forced off with an injury, with Chris Park returning.
The game finished with Rossendale on the attack.
Yet again the game was far closer than the final result suggested, and often the bounce of the ball did not favour Kendal. The lineout was much improved even when John Dervey was forced off and his replacement Chris Evans did not look out of place in the team.
Wirral are the visitors to Mintbridge next weekend.
YOUR KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Billy Coxon
Rolling back the years at times, showing some of the youngsters how to do it, as he found (or made) gaps.
Just edging out previous multiple MoM winner and try scorer, Chris Downham, with back row partners Ben Dixon and Steven Nelson, just behind Billy and Chris.
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