Kendal 2XV 26
Cumbria Division One
A VIRTUOSO second half performance from Kendal’s second string allowed the Mint Bridge side to spring a surprise over second-placed Windermere in a fiercely-contested South Lakeland derby watched by around 200 fans.
Windermere had the first opportunity to touch down when Jack Walker knocked on after he looked to be in sight of the tryline after seven minutes but it was Kendal who got the first try with quarter of an hour gone.
The passing among Kendal’s backs was superb all afternoon and it was one such move that resulted in Luke Jacobs getting a try in the corner, Nathan Wooff scoring a superb conversion from near the touchline to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
Windermere fought back, James Crawford missing a penalty before converting one from a central position around 35 metres out to reduce ‘Mere’s arrears to four points five minutes later.
The Longlands Road outfit were pushing and camped out in Kendal’s 22 as Liam Nicholson was sinbinned for the Black and Ambers in an attempt to keep the home side out with a dangerous tackle.
And eventually with Kendal down to 14 men that pressure told as Leigh Wood was the man who got the ball over the whitewash, pushed on by Mark Ireland, after a maul involving around a dozen players. Crawford kicked over a tremendous conversion as Windermere took the lead for the first time in the match.
Kendal fought back as they tried to regain their advantage before half time but it was to no avail and Windermere went into the interval 10-7 ahead.
Both sides came out pumped up for the second half, one Windermere player limping off with a foot injury with just 41 minutes on the clock.
Wooff missed a penalty for Kendal in the 47th minute while Crawford missed two for ‘Mere as both sides tried to get a stranglehold in the game, but with 15 minutes left Kendal really began to turn on the style with some inspiring rugby.
Firstly some terrific passing spread the ball out wide right, one player a matter of inches away from getting over the tryline, but then the ball worked its way over to the left and as Windermere found their defence stretched, Jacobs got in for a straightforward try with another man on his left if he had wanted to use him.
Wooff added the extras as Kendal reclaimed the lead 14-10.
Three minutes later and the situation got even better for Kendal as Matt Houghton charged through a few challenges with a lung-bursting run. He was tackled only yards from the line and Nicholson was rewarded for his support play as Houghton passed to him to finish off the forward’s move as Kendal increased their advantage.
Wooff missed the conversion but the Mint Bridge side had daylight between themselves and Windermere with a 19-10 lead.
And with three minutes left, more scintillating work by the Kendal backs gave Jamie Postlethwaite time and space to add a fourth try to go 24-10 up and finish the game off.
Wooff converted to make the full time score 26-10, meaning Kendal went back home with the South Lakeland bragging rights as Windermere lost ground on leaders Hawcoat Park.
Jamie Hardman, John Ogden, Dan Harrison, Jonathan Benson, Luke Robinson, Mark Ireland, Leigh Wood, John Curry, Mike Procter, Jim Crawford, Chris Lightburn, Jack Walker, Warren Tilsley, Alex Benjamin, Callum Graves.
Replacements: Dan Neild, Aiden Crawford, Luke Todd, Paddy Wilson, Ade Nutter.
Calvert Gilpin, Matt Houghton, David Peacock, Dan Boardley, Ben Leacock, Liam Nicholson, Tom Voke, Ashley Hill, Matt Kaye, Nathan Wooff, Jamie Postlethwaite, Luke Jacobs, Peter Baynes, Tony Bingham, Ian Ross.
Replacements: Dan Reid, Rob Wightman, James Cox, Dan Greenwood, Toby Knowles.