Kendal 2 v Wilmslow 2
By Danny Airey
Great team performance
With a shortage of second rowers currently available at the club and other last minute unavailabilities, a re-shuffled pack so Kendal starting with 5 front rowers in the pack and only one replacement! However; good work in the pre-match build up meant that Kendal were still able to get a functioning line-out sorted, which against a big Wilmslow pack who scrummage very well, this was vitally important.
Despite all of the pre-match talk of ensuring we shake of the Xmas hangover and hit the ground running it was Wilmslow who started the stronger and weak tackling in midfield allowed their strong running centre to burst through for a converted try on 4 minutes. A few strong words under the posts served to fire up the Kendal team and they managed to put some sustained pressure together and keep Wilmslow pinned back without ever quite getting the scoring pass away. This sustained pressure eventually led to a 5 metre penalty after 14mins. This was taken by Billy Coxon
who set up his trade mark maul which quickly gained momentum and allowed Alistair Thompson
to crash over for a try, converted by Mark Carruthers
for a 7-7 scoreline. Although under pressure at scrum time, Kendal continued to enjoy the majority of the possession and it was only ill-discipline that allowed Wilmslow to gain territory, such was the tenacity of the Kendal defence. Kendal’s second try came on 29mins, after good phase play, an overlap was worked outside, for Tom Slater
to exploit and burst through for a try out on the right, again converted by Carruthers; 14-7. Shortly after Kendal were forced into a change with a nasty looking ankle injury to flanker Shaun Tipping
following a bad fall at the line-out; Jake Chaplow
came into the centre with Anthony Gage
moving into the back row. The final score of the half came with the last play as Carruthers opted to go for goal when a penalty was awarded for offside, giving a half time score of 17-7.
The talk at half time was for Kendal to minimise the ill-discipline and rely on their aggressive defence and quick rucking to tire the big Wilmslow pack. This worked perfectly as Kendal became stronger as the game went on and scored 5 good team tries in the second half. The first of which came on 46 mins when Mark Carruthers
spotted a gap on the 22 and dummied his way through for a try which he converted; 24-7. More gaps appeared on 56mins for Josh Chaplow
to burst through from the back of a scrum before shrugging of a few tackles to score under the posts, the conversion making it 31-7. At this point Kendal were reduced to 14 men when Dan Reid
, who had answered a last minute call to play had to depart to get back to work. Even with a man less, the move to uncontested scrums helped Kendal, and the best try of the day came on 67 mins; from a scrum just outside the Kendal 22, the ball was moved well to the left wing, where full back Dan Wilson
picked a good line and timed his pass well to send winger Dan Shorrock
on an arcing run in from the half way line for another try under the posts. 38-7. Five minutes later, Jordan Johnson
finished off another great team try, the ball being shifted right, then left through a lot of the Kendal players before being touched down in the corner; 43-7. The final try, came just a few minutes later, with Kendal finding it easy to retain possession and burst through tackles against a tired looking Wilmslow defence, and Mark Carruthers
was the beneficiary of a great burst by Alistair Thompson
, popping up on his shoulder to score out to the right, the conversion gave a final score of 50-7 as the ref blew up 5mins early.
Man of the Match: Jordan Johnson
, who controlled the pack extremely well in defence and attack.