West Hartlepool 13
KENDAL moved off the bottom of National League Three North after they put a desperately poor West Hartlepool outfit to the sword in the Black and Ambers’ first win since September.
The battle between the two basement clubs in the division began very much in Kendal’s favour when full back Simon Mulholland dove over the tryline with glee on the left hand side after just four minutes. Richard Harryman had powered his way through a few attempted tackles and some great passing among the backs resulted in Jason Poleman feeding Mulholland in the corner for the touch down.
Chris Park kicked a fantastic conversion from the touchline to put Kendal seven points to the good.
Reece Tomlinson was sin-binned after 13 minutes and West Hartlepool’s Stu Waites kicked a penalty to reduce the scoreline to 7-3.
But the visitors failed to make the most of the extra man and Park restored Kendal’s seven-point lead by converting a 35-yard penalty from a fairly central position before Tomlinson was allowed back on the field of play.
On 27 minutes Dan Lowther made a great pass to tricky winger Dini Nayo, but he was tackled close to the tryline as Kendal looked to add to their advantage.
It was an error-strewn match as West Hartlepool failed to take advantage of two quick penalties awarded to them in the 36th and 38th minutes, and Kendal made them pay.
The home side’s passing among their backs was much-improved and when the ball was given to Dini on the left hand side, he bulldozed his way through several tackles, one opponent completely bouncing off the winger, as he made some great yards for the home side.
It gave Kendal possession in a dangerous area and their forwards were just too good for West Hartlepool as they drove over the whitewash under a sea of bodies from a lineout on the stroke of half time to give them a 17-3 lead, with Park kicking the extras.
Kendal carried on where they left off in the second half when they piled relentless pressure on West Hartlepool from the off with some positive passages of play.
The sides were reduced to 14 men a side briefly when Adam Jackson was sin-binned for Kendal after 47 minutes, before Carl Robinson was yellow-carded for the North East side three minutes later.
Kendal continued to press forward and the Black and Ambers won a clutch of penalties. The home side were almost camped in the visitors’ 22 before Garry Holmes was the man with the try following a drive off the Kendal line-out on the left hand side to put the Mint Bridge outfit 22-3 up after 51 minutes. Park missed the conversion.
Six minutes later Park took a great pass off Simon Davidson and made a great run through the middle of the park. Poleman supported him well before he got the ball off to Jamie Postlethwaite, but the winger was tackled as he made a beeline for the tryline.
Kendal won a penalty and rather than take the three points, they went to the corner to aim for the fourth and bonus point try.
And that tactic bore fruit when once again the Kendal forwards powered home from a lineout to bundle over in the corner and get themselves that all-important extra point. Park made another terrific conversion to give his side a 29-3 lead.
With just under 20 minutes left, West Hartlepool began to come forward more as Kendal took their foot off the gas.
On three occasions poor passing or carelessness cost West Hartlepool the opportunity to claw the deficit back as they began to get forward thanks to Kendal’s third yellow card of the game, with Alistair Livesey forced to spend 10 minutes in the sin bin.
With seven minutes left Waites got his side’s first try of the game after Andrew Cheslin found the gap in the defence caused by Livesey’s sin-binning, and the home defence did well to make a great tackle on the tryline after some nice passing from the visitors. But there was no stopping Waites when he got over the whitewash on the right, and the scoreline was reduced to 29-8.
With two minutes remaining, the visitors scored again. Luke Mallinson was well-supported by his forwards, who helped drive him over the line as West Hartlepool made it 29-13, but it was too little too late, and Kendal claimed a morale-boosing victory that takes them off the foot of the table.
Alistair Livesey, Duncan Green, Richard Harryman, Liam Hayton (c), Reece Tomlinson, Dan Greenwood, Garry Holmes, Rob Quarry, Simon Davidson, Chris Park, Jamie Postlethwaite, Jason Poleman, Dan Lowther, Dini Nayo, Simon Mulholland
Replacements: Ben Leacock, Dan White, Adam Jackson
Wood, Dixon, Coates, Barker, Myers, Miller, D Boatman, J Boatman, Painter, Waites, Butcher, A Cheslin, C Cheslin, Edwards, Mallinson
Replacements: Robinson, Southern, Corbett
Referee: James Bullock - Northern Group