Another Close Game .... apart from the result
By Mark Hodgkiss
Report from Bernard Parsons
Rain welcomed the team and the few travelling faithful to Blaydon. Kendal’s first visit for 15 years, on that occasion Blaydon triumphed 45 -7 in a North 2 fixture.
Both sets of supporters took refuge on the grandstand. The floodlight artificial pitch gleamed before us.
The only change to the website team was Matthew Charters moving to lock for the absent John Dervey, and Robbie Collinson on to the bench.
The early exchanges were pretty even, but on 10 minutes Matthew Charters suffered a shoulder injury, and was replaced by Jack Lashley, with Dom Musetti moving to lock.
At the first scrum Kendal pushed the opposition off their own ball at a rate of knots. Promising!
On 13 minutes Steven Nelson charged, with a couple of side steps, up to the Blaydon posts. The ball was quickly recycled right, where Nathan McCloy saw a gap and eased through to score wide out. His difficult conversion was inch perfect. 0-7
Both teams were using the boot quite in these early exchanges. Blaydon for territory giving the Kendal back three plenty of work. An excellent Glen Weightman high kick was agonisingly knocked forward.
On 22 minutes after a succession of penalties Kendal were warned. Blaydon kicked to the corner and from the lineout another penalty resulted in a yellow card for Kirk Chettleburgh. Using the extra man to good effect the home pack mauled the ball over the line. 5-7. The kick slid just wide.
A long Blaydon kick found touch five metres from the Kendal line. The defensive throw was lost and Blaydon moved the ball wide to score in the opposite corner. Again the conversion failed 10-7.
From the restart Kendal were immediately on the attack. Nathan McCloy grubber kicked through and was obstructed near the home 22. His penalty attempt was wide
Another Nathan McCloy kick was well chased by Myles Harrop, but the ball bounced badly for him and the chance was gone.
Approaching halftime Blaydon had an attacking scrum on the five metre line. The ball was lost forward. On the resulting Kendal feed, deep in injury time, we all thought win the ball and boot it off the field for halftime, but Chris Downham thought otherwise and from the base of the scrum he charged fully 60 metres only to be brought down by the last despairing defender. Support arrived and a penalty was awarded just inside the 10 metre line. Nathan McCloy converted the difficult kick.10-10.
Finally after 50 minutes the referee blew for halftime.
The first action of the second period was a 40 metre trundle by Garry Holmes at some pace down the left touchline, handing off would be tacklers. The support couldn’t get there in time and Blaydon cleared their line.
With the game evenly poised, a flowing Blaydon move down was stopped by an exorcet flying tackle by Chris Downham. The referee deemed it illegal and issued a yellow card. Blaydon kicked to the corner and after several attempts got the touchdown. The kick was good.17-10 after 47 minutes
Almost immediately Blaydon were back in the away half and from a lineout the ball went through several hands to the far touchline and then back towards the posts. The away defence was overstretched and Blaydon scored under the posts. With the kick 24-10 with fifty minutes gone
Their bonus point was secured. All four tries scored while Kendal were a player down. Hmmm.
Another deft kick by McCloy was knocked on in the home twenty-two. Kendal were still on the attack but were penalised for holding and Blaydon cleared.
After sixty minutes Robbie Collinson replaced Steven Nelson who had had yet another all action performance.
A raking penalty by McCloy took play into the away twenty-two. Blaydon offended again, a quick tap was taken however the move ended with a penalty for crossing.
32 minutes Blaydon thought they had scored, but the ball had been lost forward.
Glen Weightman chipped over the rushing defence in midfield, but the ball alluded the chasers. A bit of a pattern here.
On 32 minutes Blaydon scored their final try. A big hole appeared in the stretched Kendal defence allowing Blaydon player to amble in under the posts. 31-10 with conversion
Chris Park came on for Matthew Kaye at scrum half. A penalty kick by Nathan McCloy on halfway found touch five metres out and after an initial drive was halted Jack Lashley broke away to score in the corner. The kick slipped just wide .31-15 with 5 minutes plus to go
After thirty eight minutes Gary Holmes went off and Steven Nelson returned.
Billy Coxon put Nick Carlton away with a beautifully delayed pass, but his kick through rolled into touch.
There was just time for a Nathan McCloy 30 metre break in midfield, but he lost the ball forward in the tackle.
The referee called full time after 43 minutes
It was third top versus third bottom. For long periods when Kendal had their full compliment on the field the game was evenly contested.. However this good Blaydon side deserved their win, taking their chances well.
The Kendal scrum was excellent even when down to seven, but John Dervey was missed at the line out.
On a day like this on a December grass or perhaps mud pitch what a different type of game we would have enjoyed. Steam rising from the forwards, kicks falling with a splat rather than bouncing unpredictably, and only those immediately involved having a clue what was going on. Also for the last quarter it would be in the dark. Happy days.
Your Kendal Man of the Match : Steven Nelson
"Another All Action Performance"(according to Bernard's report) saw Steve, just pip Nathan McCloy and Garry Holmes
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