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Rugby Union: Kendal 26-19 Leigh
GARRY HOLMES maintained his status as Kendal’s leading try-scorer as the Black and Ambers returned to winning ways with a solid victory against Leigh at Mint Bridge.
James Thompson, Reece Tomlinson and Mark Carruthers also touched down as the home side claimed a bonus point although Leigh’s overall performance belied their lowly league position.
Despite the visitors never leading in the game, tries from Iain Wood, Jimmy Wilkinson and Elliott Ryan ensured the home side had to graft for their win.
Chris Park’s unavailability meant a recall for Jordan Johnson with Carruthers switching to full-back as Matty Houghton made way for Holmes to return at six.
After Leigh were penalised for illegally stopping the Kendal drive, Andrew Boardley kicked the hosts into the ascendency with a third minute penalty.
The lead was extended shortly afterwards following a James Cox break, with the ball recycled and the forwards taking control as Holmes crossed the line for his 18th try of the season.
However, after being awarded a number of penalties, the Leigh forwards surged across the line with skipper Wood scoring off the back of the driving maul.
With neither try successfully converted, Kendal established a 13-5 half-time lead as James Thompson powered over on the half-hour mark, with Boardley twice coming close to scoring before the interval.
Leigh started the second-half brightly and after the ball was moved into the centre, full-back Wilkinson broke through the Kendal defence to score as Ryan converted.
With Kendal looking to bring their backs more into the game, a number of breaks came to nothing before Boardley kicked his second penalty of the afternoon.
Billy Coxon replaced Glen Chesher quarter of an hour into the second period and following the award of a further penalty, the forwards ran the ball with Tomlinson the man to cross the line.
And five minutes later Kendal had their try-scoring bonus point as Ian Voortman provided the decisive pass to Carruthers to score, although Dan Lowther was unsuccessful with the conversion.
Cox – replaced by Houghton at half-time – returned to the field in place of James Thompson while colts’ player Brad Jackson replaced Boardley for the final 15 minutes.
With their status in League North One West in jeopardy, Leigh continued to fight with Wilkinson breaking free before feeding Ryan who converted his own try.
Only leading by a single score, skipper James Gough was forced off through injury as Boardley returned for the final stages of the clash.
Kendal survived a late scare as Wilkinson’s pass to right-wing Chris Mayrew went to ground, with the Black and Ambers facing Liverpool St. Helens this weekend as their pursuit of third-placed Widnes continues.
Kendal: Glen Chesher, Duncan Green, Richard Harryman, Liam Hayton, Reece Tomlinson, Garry Holmes, James Cox, James Thompson, James Gough (c), Dan Lowther, Jordan Johnson, Alistair Thompson, Ian Voortman, Andrew Boardley, Mark Carruthers. Replacements: Billy Coxon, Matty Houghton, Brad Jackson
Leigh: Matt Newton, Iain Wood (c), Tom Baker, David Penn, Alex Middleton-Adams, Steve Millard, Chris Morgan, Calvin Crompton, Alan Brett, Rob Drake, Elliott Ryan, Ryan McKinstry, Ross Shepherd, Chris Mayrew, Jimmy Wilkinson. Replacements: Tom Prossatt, Tom Trumbell
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