Macclesfield 3 v Kendal 2
By Danny Airey
A scrappy game with moments of brilliance.
On a Saturday when Kendal relied on two debutants and the brothers of two regular players to be able to put out a full squad, following a string of injuries at the previous weekend’s game, it was always going to take the team time to gel, and this proved to be the case for the majority of the first half when Kendal played into a strong wind.
Kendal started the stronger, with strong running from the back row and good defensive coordination out wide. The first try came on 12 mins following a crunching tackle by Leo Mercer
in midfield which led to turnover ball quickly moved out to wing for debutant Chris Wakeford
to show real pace and power to sprint in from 60 yards.
Conversion was good 0-7. Macclesfield had a solid set piece which allowed them to take the lead with two tries from 5 metre scrums on 19 & 28 mins, the latter following a yellow card to fellow debutant Jordan Field. Neither were converted; 10-7. Kendal regained the lead on 32 mins after a good break by Tom Slater
, the ball was recycled well allowing Grant Parker
to pop up on the overlap to score out wide, with the difficult conversion missing; 10-12. This lead was extended almost immediately after Leo Mercer
burst through a gap to feed fellow centre Tom Slater
to score under the posts; 10-19. On 37 mins, some lazy rucking by Kendal allowed the Macclesfield forwards to counter and hack through and regain the ball for a score under the posts leaving a half time score of 17-19. Although it wasn’t the best performance by Kendal, turning around with the strong wind at their backs and after recognising where improvements were needed, Kendal started the second half confident that they would improve and secure the victory. On 42 mins Kendal extended their lead after a good blind side move and break by Grant Parker
, who fed Jack Gater
to gallop in for a try on the left; 17-24. Confidence was growing now, and a chip over the defence just outside Kendal’s 22 was recovered by Mercer who jinked his way to inside the Macc half and fed Jordan Field who raced in for the second debutant try; 17-31. Leo Mercer
then got a try his good overall performance deserved on 53 mins following some good phase play which created an overlap on the left wing; 17-38.
The game then became a bit scrappy, as Macclesfield battled well to get back in the game and following a string of penalties, one of which resulted in a second yellow card to Chris Wakeford
after a team warning, Macc opted for a 5mtr scrum and managed to force over another try on 72 mins; 24-38.
Kendal responded with two tries in the last 5 mins whilst down to 14 men. The first by Tom Moulton
on 75 mins after some good forward inter-play, and the eighth try coming with the last play of the game as Mark Carruthers
got on the end of some more good offloading to score a try under the posts to add to his six successful conversions giving a final score of 24-52.
A great away win, with 8 different try scorers. It must also be first time we have had two debutants who both scored a try and both received a yellow card!!
Next week sees the final league game before the top two leagues are restructured into 3 conferences of 6 teams. Kendal will be placed into a conference with Macclesfield, Rochdale, Stockport, Wilmslow & Wirral, with the first fixture being away at Wirral on 2nd February.