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Vale of Lune 29-39 Kendal
Kendal survived a determined fightback to beat old foes Vale of Lune after laying the foundations for a second successive away victory with a powerful first-half performance.
Touchdowns from Chris Park and Dan Lowther, together with a penalty try, helped establish a commanding 25-point half-time lead for the Black and Ambers.
Liam Hayton’s late try, his second of half, finally sealed the win after Fraser Spavin, Rob Ward, Jonty Higgin and Jack Turton replied for the hosts.
Kendal won the last competitive fixture between the two sides back in April 1992 – a narrow 12-6 success in a Division Four North fixture.
And the two sides were only separated by a point going into the clash although the Mint Bridge side were quickly out the blocks with Park converting an eighth minute penalty.
The fly half enjoyed a productive opening to the game, doubling the Kendal lead with a second penalty after quarter of an hour before scoring his side’s first try shortly afterwards.
After his initial dart was resisted, the supporting Kendal pack drove Park over the line close to the posts with the conversion taking the score to 13 without reply.
A second touchdown was soon forthcoming, Alistair Thompson stifling a Vale attack to allow Lowther to cross the line and continue his prolific try-scoring form.
The final points of the half came from a penalty try, following a Rob Quarry run and the award of a scrum, with Park’s conversion securing a 25-0 half-time lead.
The match followed a similar pattern to Kendal’s victory at Carlisle last time out, a domineering first-half performance followed by the opposition storming back in the second.
Vale registered their first points of the afternoon shortly after the re-start, flanker Fraser Spavin supporting ex-Fylde winger Nick Royle’s kick to score, with Turton converting.
This stemmed from a loose Hayton pass although the second row made amends on 44 minutes, taking a pass from skipper James Gough to burst over the line for a converted try.
However, the home side set about mounting an unlikely revival with Royle running back a poor Kendal kick before feeding right-wing Ward two minutes later.
The deficit was reduced by a further seven points soon afterwards, Vale forwards winning lineout ball with play moved quickly to centre Higgin to cross the line.
The experienced Kendal pack had showcased their organisation and power but started to concede a number of penalties for technical offences at both scrums and lineouts.
And Vale really had the wind in their sails midway through the second-half, Turton gathering his own kick before converting, with the hosts now only trailing by six points.
Five minutes later the Powder House Lane side were within touching distance with quarter of an hour still on the clock as Turton successfully kicked a penalty.
However, Steve Whitehead’s side managed to regain some control with Billy Coxon, Duncan Green, Richard Harryman and Hayton keeping the ball close to the forwards.
After Vale second row Lee Acton was sin-binned, Kendal took full advantage of the weakened pack to secure victory with ten minutes remaining.
Reece Tomlinson exploited a defensive gap with a drive for the line as Hayton emerged for his second try of the game, with Park converting to seal Kendal’s fourth win of the campaign.
Kendal: Billy Coxon, Duncan Green, Richard Harryman, Liam Hayton, Reece Tomlinson, Matty Houghton, Blake Robinson, Rob Quarry, James Gough (c), Chris Park, Jordan Johnson, Dan Lowther, James Duerden, Alistair Thompson, Ian Voortman. Replacements: Alistair Livesey, James Thompson, Matty Kaye
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