Carlisle Panthers 50

Kendal Warriors 64

KENDAL Warriors were close to being back to full strength for their away trip to fellow Cumbrians Carlisle and were determined to prove that their win earlier in the year was no fluke.

Kendal started off well, racing off into a 24-2 lead largely due to a strong defensive effort which led to a number of scoring opportunities for Matt Basedow, Phil Mason and some long range shots for Gareth France.

But Kendal couldn't maintain this level of performance and this allowed Carlisle to eat into their lead.

The introduction of Kon Arfanis, Mike Smith and Luke Garnett allowed some much-needed rest for the Kendal team, noticeably Gareth France, who had pulled his hamstring, and Kevin Mason, who was increasingly on the receiving end of what was becoming a more and more physical game.

Kendal eventually managed to settle and maintained their advantage at the end of half as they led 40-27.

As the third quarter started Kendal regained the momentum and while only scoring 13 points, which were largely due to Kevin Mason's battling offensive performance against a Carlisle defence that continued to physically punish him, Kendal's own defence kept their opponents down to just six points. This quarter was perhaps more poignant for the loss of Keith McInnes, who was brought crashing down injuring his knee and keeping him out for most of the rest of the game. This again unsettled the Warriors as McInnes was as usual putting in another consistent and dependable performance.

Carlisle gambled in the fourth quarter putting, on a full court pressure defence which initially paid off by forcing Kendal into some needless mistakes.

But Kendal soon learned to cope and saw the game through running out fairly comfortably winners 64-50.

Scorers: G France 18, K Mason 16, M Basedow 14, P Mason 10, K McInnes 4, M Smith 2, K Arfanis 0, L Garnett 0.