Westoe defeat sends Kendal down

First published in Sport The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior News/Sport Reporter

KENDAL Rugby Club's status as a National League 2 North side came to an end with defeat to Westoe at Mint Bridge this afternoon.

A valiant Kendal side ran their north east visitors close as they battled to maintain a mathematical chance of survival, but Andrew Laycock's try just minutes from the end means the club go down to National League 3 North.

It was hosts Kendal who took the lead when Mark Ireland kicked a penalty on 24 minutes when a Westoe player was pulled up for handling in the ruck.

But sixth-placed Westoe hit back just six minutes later when Phealan ran through from a secondary scrum 5m out and O'Farrell added the conversion for 7-3.

Westoe's confidence soared and within five minutes they had doubled their tally with Phealan again getting the ball down after accepting a pass from Clark.

Kendal played a fair game though and were back in the match before the break, hitting back instantly.

Dave Barton made a telling run into the Westoe 22 and the hosts were awarded a penalty when he was cynically tripped up.

Ireland kicked for touch and from the resultant lineout Mark Bowman drove over the line for a 14-8 half-time deficit.

Just after the break Ian Voortman missed a tackle as Westoe went on the attack again and Phealan went over for his hat-trick with O'Farrell kicking the extras for 21-8.

It was punch for counter-punch at Mint Bridge with the visitors constantly giving away penalties.

Jamie Postlethwaite handed Kendal a lifeline with a jinking run to evade the Westoe defensive line after some quick ball from Andrew Boardley.

Ireland added the extras and with 58 minutes on the clock the deficit was one point when Leo Mercer collected the ball on the left wing and darted for the try line.

Kendal had worked their way into the tie once more and took the lead when Ireland stuck the ball between the posts from close range, with the Westoe number 8 B Frankland being sent to the bin for ten minutes for persistent offending.

The visitors were physical and on 71 minutes forced a fourth try for a bonus point but Ireland was accurate with his boot and levelled the scores at 26-26 with ten minutes to go.

Over the course of the match Westoe conceded 15 penalties to Kendal's two but it was the guests who took the points when Laycock drove over from a lineout with just minutes remaining.

Kendal were forced back into their own 22 as the clock ran down but there was still time for Bowman to be sent to the bin late on.

Otley's win against Nuneaton coupled with Harrogate's 17-16 loss at Loughborough Students leaves Kendal 18 points behind and they must now prepare for life in National League 3 North.

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