POWERFUL forward play and the unerring accuracy of Andrew Boardley’s set-piece kicking underpinned Kendal’s victory over in-form Warrington – ending the Cheshire side’s 25-match unbeaten home record.
Christian White and Garry Holmes exchanged tries in the first-half as Steve Pilkington touched down in the second period for the hosts while Kendal were awarded a penalty try.
But it was the boot of Boardley which proved decisive – kicking 22 points in total – as the Black and Ambers led 22-5 at the break and extended their lead in the latter stages.
Warrington opened the scoring with an unconverted try on two minutes, White bundling over from a ruck after skipper Duncan Rickard created space for winger Kieran Hughes.
Handling errors from the re-start gave the Kendal forwards the opportunity to showcase their superiority at the scrum, with Boardley’s first penalty reducing the arrears after eight minutes.
And shortly afterwards the visitors took the lead, Boardley taking full advantage of a knock-on after captain James Gough looked to spread play after gathering his own chipped kick.
Moments later Gough was forced off with a cut to his head, replaced by flanker Jamie Cox with Matty Houghton – withdrawn late on with an ankle injury – moving to the wing.
A third Boardley penalty on the half-hour mark extended the lead further, with the away side crossing the line for the first time five minutes before the break.
Billy Coxon’s break was continued by Duncan Green before Holmes was driven over for his tenth try of the season, with Boardley adding a difficult two points.
The winger added two further penalties in first-half stoppage time, the first following home side dissent and the second after the Kendal pack drove their Warrington counterparts off their own scrum.
During the interval, Gough required further treatment to his head injury with Glen Chesher starting the second-half and Holmes temporarily moving to the wing.
Warrington narrowed the gap on 52 minutes, Jono Smith – in his final game for the club before returning to Wales – off-loading twice as Jake Ashall combined with Pilkington who finished off.
Ian Voortman also had to leave the field with a cut, although it was not long until the Black and Ambers added further points through Boardley.
Reece Tomlinson stole Warrington ball with the forwards taking the play into opposition territory, only for flanker Matt Connelley to be penalised and sin-binned for slowing down the ball.
Boardley notched his sixth penalty of the afternoon before the game was put beyond all doubt with Kendal’s second try of the game with five minutes remaining.
The away side were awarded a penalty try after quick-thinking from Gough and a Warrington infringement on the line, as Boardley successfully converted.
Smith became the second Warrington player to be sin-binned for an illegal tackle on Tomlinson, and despite Kendal continuing to attack no further points were added.
With much to be taken from Kendal inflicting Warrington’s first home defeat of the season, the Mint Bridge side will look to take similar form into this weekend’s clash with Carlisle.
Warrington: Mike Haddon, Christian White, Elliot Johnson, Zak Lythgoe, Shaun Yoxall, Matt Connelley, Jake Ashall, Danny Flemming, Tom Wood, Andy Roberts, Kieran Hughes, Duncan Rickard (c), Jono Smith, Steve Pilkington, Pat Roberts. Replacements: Sean Callander, Kevin Jones, Matt Rockey
Kendal: Billy Coxon, Duncan Green, Richard Harryman, Liam Hayton, Reece Tomlinson, Garry Holmes, Matty Houghton, James Thompson, James Gough (c), Dan Lowther, Andrew Boardley, Ian Voortman, Alistair Thompson, Mark Carruthers, Chris Park. Replacements: Glen Chesher, Ben Leacock, Jamie Cox