Another Tough Afternoon
By Mark Hodgkiss
Rossendale adapted well to the conditions to win
A game between two teams in poor form with just a win each since Christmas, and one Kendal needed something out of, to keep hopes of survival alive.
Dom Musetti was still not fully recovered from a head injury, so was not risked, and Glen Weightman captained the team. Chris Downham, Myles Harrop and Kirk Chettleburgh returned after missing last week’s game at Billingham.
Rossendale had the advantage of the wind in the first half, but the opening exchanges were fairly even, with both teams suffering from handling errors.
Kendal had a chance to open the scoring. Rossendale had a scrum just outside their twenty two, but Kendal stole the ball, and Chris Downham quickly picked up and set off on a good run, with scrum half Wayne Ngubane in support, but the pass was poor and the chance was lost.
At the other end Kendal had a let off, as with a clear run in, a Rosendale player dropped the ball. The referee had however been playing advantage, and the resulting penalty was put to touch. Reece Tomlinson, who had his best game against his former club, rose high to take the lineout ball, and there was nothing that Kendal could do, as the Rossendale pack rumbled them over the line for the opening score. 0v7 after twenty minutes with the conversion.
Five minutes later Chris Downham was forced off with a cut, with Robbie Collinson coming on.
On the half hour, Rossendale extended their lead. A penalty was taken quickly and the ball moved wide for centre Lewis Pattison to exploited a gap to go over for the try. 0v12.
Chris Downham returned to the field, but Kendal were soon further behind. The strong wind was making restarts difficult, and the kick was blown back to Kendal. Danny Barker managed to knock the ball back, but it fell to a Rossendale player, who made ground, taking him to the twenty two. Whilst Kendal managed to stop him, they conceded a penalty, that fullback Lewis Allen put over 0v15.
The final score of the half came from confusion at a Kendal lineout, which saw the ball lost, which set up a chance for Rossendale hooker Tom Allen, who scored his team’s third try 0v20.
With the advantage of the wind in the second half, Kendal were still in the game, if they could win more ball, to put pressure on Rossendale.
There was a good start to the second half. Rossendale were penalised for failing to release the ball. The referee then moved the penalty forward, and Wayne Ngubane, took the ball quickly, but was stopped by what the referee deemed to be an illegal tackle, and Rossendale centre Jack Ward was yellow carded. Kendal could not take advantage of the extra man.
Mark Carruthers had been injured late in the first half, and Chris Park prepared to come on, but was not required. Five minutes into the half the change was finally made, with Kris Bratton moved into the centre.
After quarter of an hour Kendal made another change with Mike Bradshaw coming on for Jack Lashley.
Rossendale were playing a game perfect for the conditions, keeping the ball in hand make short distances, and there were long periods where Kendal could not get their hands on the ball.
Kendal had another let off when for a second time a Rossendale lost the ball on his way in for a score.
After a quarter of an hour Rossendale did add to their score. A poor pass to outside half James Bramhall, worked in his favour, as he had to adjust to take the ball, which then caught the Kendal defence, and he exploited a gap to score. 0v25.
Wayne Ngubane was having another good game, making regular breaks, but he was failing to get support, and when he made a good run to the line, there was no one in support for a scoring pass.
After twenty five minutes Kendal finally had a score, with replacement prop Mike Bradshaw squeezing over in the corner. Chris Park was unsuccessfully in his attempt to use the wind to put over the difficult conversion kick. 5v25
Kendal made a further change with Robbie Collinson returning, to replace Garry Holmes.
A break by Rossendale scrum half James Bramhall extended the lead again 5v32, with ten minutes to play.
Kendal finished well, with a long period on the attack in the Rossendale twenty two, but could no way through, as the weather deteriorated
Jack Lashley returned in place of Matthew Charters.
With the final moved of the game, Kendal added a second try. A good cross field passing move saw Myles Harrop go over for a try in the corner. Another good conversion attempt from Chris Park, but with the same result, ended the game.
The game probably reflected the two team’s year, low in confidence, making too many errors, but Rossendale quality and better handling in the second half, saw them through.
A week off next weekend, then a difficult away trip to Wirral in a fortnight, a ground Kendal have won at in the last two seasons, but against a team who will be keen to put right giving Wilmslow only their second win of the season this weekend
Your KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Kirk Chettleburgh
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