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Rugby Union: Kendal 31-20 Carlisle
GARRY HOLMES and James Thompson scored two tries apiece as Kendal finally overcame relegation-threatened Carlisle – who for large parts belied their lowly league position – to surge into fourth-place in League North One West.
With the half-time scores locked at 10-10, influential fly-half Glen Weightman looked to have swung the game in favour of the visitors with a try and his set-piece kicking.
However, Holmes and latterly Thompson touched down for the second time to steer the Black and Ambers home and make it back-to-back victories.
The only change to the Kendal side was Billy Coxon moving to flanker in place of the injured Matty Houghton with Glen Chesher coming into the front row.
The away side opened the scoring on 11 minutes as Weightman comfortably slotted over a penalty after the hosts were caught offside in midfield.
Kendal replied midway from the half, Dan Lowther kicking to the corner before the a trademark drive to the line saw Holmes touchdown, with Andrew Boardley successfully converting.
The lead was extended five minutes later when another Kendal drive was stopped illegally, Boardley once again proving deadly accurate with his boot to take the score to 10-3.
Despite handling errors dogging their backs, Carlisle drew level in first-half stoppage time as their forwards drove to the line after winning line-out ball, Josh Holmes scoring and Weightman converting.
There was an interval change for Kendal with young flanker James Cox replacing Chesher, a move which saw Coxon resume his more accustomed front row position.
It was the visitors who drew first blood in the second period, Weightman evading the hosts’ defence with a dummied pass before crossing the line and adding a further two points.
And moments later the lead was extended to ten points courtesy of a further Weightman penalty, with the fly-half’s points tally for the season now standing at 130.
Although Carlisle seemed in control, Kendal soon regained a foothold in the game with a try stemming from a successful scrum against the head on their own line.
From the resulting passage of play, Holmes burst through the Carlisle defence at pace to score under the posts – his 12th try of the season – as Boardley converted.
The away side continued to kick to the corner and pin Kendal in their own half but when awarded a penalty, Boardley failed to convert his first kick for two games.
The Kendal pack secured the ascendency in the latter stages with their supremacy heightened when Carlisle hooker Tom Graham was penalised and sent to the sin-bin.
When the referee determined the ball had not been grounded and awarded an attacking scrum, a powerful drive resulted in Thompson touching down and Boardley converting.
With five minutes remaining and Kendal searching for a bonus point, Mark Carruthers made a break down the left flank, with the now rampant forwards driving number eight Thompson over again.
Boardley’s conversion completed the scoring as Kendal look to continue their good form during the rearranged game with bottom of the table Altrincham Kersal at the weekend.
Kendal: Glen Chesher, Duncan Green, Richard Harryman, Liam Hayton, Reece Tomlinson, Billy Coxon, Garry Holmes, James Thompson, James Gough (c), Dan Lowther, Mark Carruthers, Ian Voortman, Alistair Thompson, Andrew Boardley, Chris Park. Replacements: James Cox, Jordan Johnson, Chris Evans
Carlisle: Alex Neil, Tom Graham, Josh Holmes, Paul Halliday, Richard Sowerby, Gordon Maulding, Bobby Sherlock (c), Ryan Reeney, Glen Weightman, Dan Holmes, Barry Earl, Damian Armstrong, Andy Glendinning, Paul Lancaster. Replacements: Carl Willis, Ali Randall, Ben Purdham
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