National Division Three North
A LATE fightback from Kendal proved to be too little too late as Penrith did the double over their Cumbrian neighbours in front of a packed Mint Bridge crowd.
The first half proved to be a real war of attrition as both sides tried to stamp their authority on the game, but mistakes kept costing both sides the opportunity to get points on the board.
Kendal started brightly and should have taken the lead when Adam Jackson shanked a penalty in the fifth minute after Penrith were penalised for offside.
Kendal’s pack were well on top but Penrith looked extremely dangerous among their pacy backs, Neil Warnock and Mike Hawley coming close on the ninth minute before Ben Littleton tripped over his own feet to give Kendal a huge let-off near the posts.
In the 18th minute Jamie Postlethwaite came up with a try-saving tackle to deny the tricky winger Littleton, with the ball going out into touch soon after.
Too many times Kendal’s passing let them down among the backs, one such example being when Alistair Thompson knocked on in the 18th minute after some great work by captain Liam Hayton and the impressive Dan White.
Reece Tomlinson was also having a great game, particularly on the line-outs. He kept winning them against the Penrith throw and it was from one of these lineout that Kendal had another opportunity in the 25th minute, with the Black and Ambers pressing from a lineout to 10 metres from the Penrith line. The ball was given to the backs, who messed the chance up with some woeful passing which allowed the Penrith defence to recover and clear.
Finally after half an hour the first points were scored. Steve Wood succeeded with a superb 30-yard drop goal after more good work on the Penrith left by Littlewood gave the visitors a 3-0 lead.
But three minutes later, Kendal responded with a Jackson penalty from 30 yards out after Penrith were punished for not rolling away from the tackle.
However, a telling try was scored four minutes before the break when Hogg put in a great run through the middle to get through three or four tackles, and Hawley was on hand to finish Hogg’s move to score a converted try underneath the posts.
On the stroke of half time, Kendal should have been given a penalty try when twice the Penrith forwards wheeled the Kendal scrum just in front of their own tryline, but the referee harshly blew for half time instead, leaving the Black and Ambers feeling aggrieved at going into the interval 10-3 down.
The start of the second half was disastrous for the Mint Bridge side when Littleton strolled home easily for a try in the first minute of the half after a great run by Hawley in a move which spanned the length of the pitch.
And in the 48th minute, Littleton got his second try when Penrith had plenty of men on the overlap on the left hand side, and captain Wood fed the winger to make it 20-3.
Kendal reduced those arrears four minutes later though when White got a deserved try. Jackson went on a good run on the right and as the backs fed the ball to the left hand side, Jason Poleman popped his pass to White when he was tackled near the tryline to make it 20-10 after the extras were added.
On the hour mark Wood’s drop-goal attempt missed but two minutes later Penrith had the game all but wrapped up. Poor Kendal tackling allowed Jamie Thornton to make great headway into the Kendal danger area and Richardson got over in the right hand corner, with Wood kicking a sensational conversion from out wide to put Penrith 27-10 up.
Kendal showed some real spirit through and refused to give up, and pressure near the Penrith tryline was rewarded when Dan Lowther went over to reduce the deficit to 12 points.
A better passing move by Kendal with four minutes left saw the Black and Ambers make good progress with four minutes remaining, and Billy Coxon battered his way over the line to score under the sticks, with Park adding the extras to make the score 27-22.
Kendal had their tails up and were making great progress until Simon Mulholland lost the ball, and Kendal were forced to settle for a bonus point which does little to help their survival chances.
Alistair Livesey, Duncan Green, Richard Harryman, Liam Hayton (c), Reece Tomlinson, Dan White, Garry Holmes, Rob Quarry, Dini Nayo, Chris Park, Adam Jackson, Jason Poleman, Alistair Thompson, Jamie Postlethwaite, Dan Lowther
Replacements: Billy Coxon, Simon Mulholland, Ben Leacock
Rumney, Thornton, Price, Gardham, Carr, McDowell, Hogg, Robinson, Newton, Wood (c), Littleton, Warnock, Hawley, Sanderson, Swaile
Replacements: Richardson, Young, Cartmel