By Mark Hodgkiss
Despite the score line Kendal spent most of the second half on the attack, but rarely looked like getting across the line, whilst Ilkley, ruthlessly took their chances, keeping the ball in hand through multiple phases until the gaps opened up for scores.
A disappointing end to a disappointing season.
With nothing to play for but pride, after relegation last weekend, Kendal entertained mid-table Ilkley.
Kris Bratton returned at fullback, and Matthew Charters at No.8 replacing the injured Chris Downham, whilst Robbie Collinson came in at hooker in place of Garry Holmes. The Development team’s Archie Barber came on to the bench.
With the wind on their backs in the first half, Ilkley started well and opened the scoring after five minutes, when after a long build up scrum half Andy Dixon, bounced out of several weak tackles to go through to score, with outside half Charles Ramsey converting 0v7.
Six minutes later after more good build up work from Ilkley they added a second try when a long pass opened up the Kendal defence. Charles Ramsey put over an excellent conversion kick from near the touchline. 0v14.
For once the Kendal lineout was on top, with Alistair Thompson stealing a number of Ilkley throws, but Kendal could not capitalise, with strong defence from Ilkley stopping any progress. Often the Ilkley defence was up very fast, and slow Kendal ball meant that they were able to cut out passing opportunities.
There was an ugly moment when the Ilkley 13, who had been having a running battle with Kendal left wing Dan Shorrock, landed a punch after being tackled, but the referee was unsighted.
With five minutes of the half to play, Ilkley added a third try, with good passing out of the tackle, opening gaps in the Kendal defence for left wing Struan Conner to score. Charles Ramsey, again made no mistake with a difficult conversion. 0v21.
In injury time the battle between the two wings continued and it was Kendal’s Dan Shorrock who got a yellow card after failing to heed a warning from the referee to release a tackled player.
Ilkley put the penalty to touch and their pack drove over from the lineout, for a fourth try converted with the final action of the half by Charles Ramsey. 0v28 at half time.
Kendal started the second half well and spent a long period in attack but rarely troubled the Ilkley defence.
Early in the half, Jack Lashley was forced off with an arm injury, and Billy Coxon came on.
Having successfully weathered the storm at the other end Ilkely extended their lead after quarter, when more good offloading out of the tackle saw prop Ollie Holtam go over. 0v33.
Kendal were back on the attack from the re-start, when Kirk Chettleburgh, managed to steal Ilkley ball and set up an attack with a number of good runs, with Mark Irving getting to the line where he was stopped. Billy Coxon took the ball on, but could not get over, and an Ilkley player dived in to kill the ball, giving the referee an easy decision to go for his yellow card, but Kendal could not make the extra man count.
After twenty minutes Kendal made a double change, Matthew Charters was forced off with an injury, and Archie Barber came on for his debut. At the same time Kris Bratton, who had been limping for some time, finally agreed to come off and Dan Wilson came onto the wing, with Dini Noyo going to fullback.
Dan Wilson was soon in the action, and given the ball with little space to work with, did well to beat a number of attempted tackles, but was finally forced into touch deep in the twenty two.
Kendal continued to dominate but had few chances of opening their scoring.
As the game came to the end of normal time, Ilkley showed how to take their chances with a try from short range. Charles Ramsey added the conversion 0v40
In injury time Ilkley added a seventy try, with a good break from distance down the wing by a substitute. This time the conversion came back off the crossbar. 0v45
After a poor first half Kendal came into the game much more in the second half, but lacked the invention to outwit a solid Ilkley defence. There were a number of good individual performances, with Alistair Thompson and Kirk Chettleburgh, continually looking for gaps, whilst quieter than the last two games Chris Evans played well again, as did Mark Carruthers and Danny Barker, but the team lacked the continuity and excellent support play of their opponents, which allowed the Ilkley defence to re-group.
So the end of the league season, but there is one more game to go, with the defence of the Cumbria Cup against Penrith at Carlisle’s Warwick Road ground next weekend.
Your KENDAL MAN OF THE MATCH : Alistair Thompson
Hardwork in attack and defence saw Alistair pick up over half the votes.
One more vote to come for the Cup Final versus Penrith in Carlisle on Saturday, then next week the Player of the Season vote next week. A bit harder this year, with a number of individual winners, like Alistair, not having had long runs in the team.
| = = =|| = = =|| = = =||HALF TIME||40+5||0||28|
| = = =|| = = =|| = = =||FULL TIME||87||0||45|
|Vale of Lune||15||87||Blaydon|
Hull go up as Champions and Blaydon get a play off agains Luctonians