Dreadful Weather - Poor Game - Great Result !
By Mark Hodgkiss
Heavy rain meant it was a low quality game but having just repelled an injury time Lymm breakaway, the team got a much needed win.
A must win – or must not lose - game for both teams, as they battle for safety at the wrong end of the table.
Myles Harrop and Steven Nelson returned after missing the trip to Hull, but there was no Zane Buttler or Dini Noyo. However the most significant news was, Kris Bratton was named on the bench, after being out injured since the start of the season.
After a dry morning, the wind and heavy rain arrived for kick off, and did not help either team.
For a second home game in a row, it look as if Kendal could concede a try from the kick-off, as the Lymm kick was tapped back, and regained by them, to set up a number of attacks, but fortunately some good defence, and a Lymm handling error, let Kendal off the hook.
Instead it was Kendal who got the first score. Lymm were forced to concede a number of penalties which put Kendal on the attack, and then gave Chris Park the opportunity to slot over a penalty after ten minutes 3v0.
Lymm came back, and when Kendal were penalised for obstruction, when trying to attack from a lineout, the Lymm kick was drilled into the corner. Rather than look for a drive from the lineout, the Lymm forwards set up a number of rucks, edging closer to the Kendal line, and finally forcing their way over for the first try, which was also converted. 3v7.
Kendal struggled all afternoon at the lineout, with a mixture of not straight throws, and throws which missed their target, but a lost lineout near the Lymm line got them a crucial try, to put them back ahead. A Lymm hand stole the Kendal throw, but Kirk Chettleburgh intercepted and raced to the line, and whilst tackled, managed to get across, without being penalised for a double movement. 8v7
Neither side was able to take control. Kendal struggling to win any set piece ball, and whilst the Lymm forwards kept the ball well and made ground, when it was moved out to their backs, there were a string of handling errors, which were possibly understandable in the cold wet conditions.
As the half came to a close, Kendal had a good period on the attack in the Lymm twenty-two, and whilst they could not get across the line, it did offer an opportunity for Chris Park to extend the lead with a second penalty. 11v7
There was no further scoring in the half, but Lymm narrowed the gap with a penalty after ten minutes of the second half, when the Kendal backs were caught coming up too fast (something their opponents seem to have been doing without punishment). 11v10.
This sparked a double change for Kendal, with Ben Dixon coming on for Steven Nelson, but the one that the Kendal support had been looking forward to, saw Kris Bratton make his return, in place of Chris Park.
It did not take longer for Bratton to remind us what we had been missing. Lymm put a good kick out of defence to him, he gathered it, then set off on a powerful run, handing off and bouncing through attempted tackles, until he was finally stopped.
He did the same again just after the half hour, with another run making plenty of ground despite the difficult pitch conditions.
With five minutes to play, Kendal made a final change with Jack Lashley coming on for Mark Irving.
Shortly afterwards, Glen Weightman launched a kick into the Lymm twenty-two, which the defender seem to knock-on, and when the referee blew, it seemed it would be for a Kendal scrum or penalty, but instead he yellow carded Chris Downham, and awarded Lymm a penalty to clear.
Despite being behind, Lymm did not look to spread the ball, and had regularly put short kicks to touch, probably knowing they stood a good chance of regaining the ball. It was not until injury time that they set up a passing move, which went from deep in their half to the Kendal line, needing a number of last gasp Kendal tackles. When the referee blew to say the ball had not been grounded, rather than award an attacking scrum, to the relief of Kendal support, he blew for full time, to give the team a much needed win, and limited the visitors to a single point.
So for a second time this season the team survived later drama, to hold on in the rain for a win which they just about deserved, but they will need to cut out the errors, especially in the lineout, if they are to get the vital wins needed against some of the mid-table teams.
It is probably unfair to judge due to the weather conditions, but comparing both teams performance with Vale’s a few weeks ago, they will face a real battle for that final space outside the drop zone.
A shorter than normal report this week, partly due to limited scoring or things to write about, but mostly due to the weather making writing any notes on papier-mâché rather difficulty.
Your KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Kirk Chettleburgh
Try scorer Kirk, just edged out Mark Carruthers, in a week where twelve players including two of the substitutes picked up votes.
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