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Kendal made to the feel the Burn in rugby curtain-raiser
National Division Three (North)
AN INEXPERIENCED Kendal side got their season off to a poor start against Burnage in an error-strewn game at Mint Bridge.
Having played only one pre-season game, a heavy defeat to Vale of Lune having fielded a side missing around 12 first-team players, Kendal looked rusty in the curtain-raiser against a side which finished fourth in this division last season.
Burnage started the better of the sides and a good tackle from Tom Voke around 20 yards out denied what could have been a dangerous chance for the Stockport-based team, while a shocking penalty from Burnage’s Phil Edge meant the scoresheet remained unblotted.
Kendal’s Graham Coulter on the right wing was not rewarded because of a forward pass to him later on as the Mint Bridge outfit’s defence did well to get left winger Adam Knight into touch 20 yards from the try-line.
But the Black and Ambers continued to make easy mistakes, Simon Mulholland knocking on an simple pass in the 25th minute.
A minute later and Burnage’s Robbie Wellock looked dangerous on the wing, but Ben Alderson made a crucial interception as Wellock tried to pass inside.
Knight had a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock for the away side with four minutes left but he somehow knocked on to the relief of the Kendal players, while on the stroke of half time Wellock would have been clear on the wing had Adam Blaney not dropped the ball to end a drab first half scoreless.
The second half got off to the best possible start for Kendal thanks to the rapid thinking of Simon Davidson two minutes into the restart.
He took a quick penalty while Burnage’s players were still half asleep to score close to the posts, but he badly missed the conversion in what would have been a vital two points for the Black and Ambers.
The try freed Burnage from their slumber but they couldn’t keep hold of the ball and they knocked on in dangerous positions three times until they finally equalised in the 51st minute.
Good work by the Burnage backs spread the ball to Wellock on the touchline, and he found a gap in the defence to get over the line.
Knight kicked the extras to put Burnage 7-5 ahead.
The Black and Ambers threatened to go straight back up the other end and score when captain Liam Hayton sold a great dummy to Burnage, but he got his feet clipped to stop him in his tracks.
As the half wore on Kendal applied the pressure but they were unable to produce any more significant chances and they were forced to accept defeat in their first game of the season.
Glenn Chesher, Matty Houghton, Richard Harryman, Liam Hayton (c), Reece Tomlinson, Dan White, Tom Voke, Garry Holmes, Simon Davidson, Ben Alderson, Jamie Posslethwaite, Ian Voortman, Alistair Thompson, Graham Coulter, Simon Mulholland Replacements: Dom Musetti, Duncan Green, Billy Coxon
O’Sullivan, Hammonds, Keane, Edge, N Scholes, Lynn, Lawson, Hewitt, J Scholes, Jennings, Knight, A Blaney, Oldham (c), Wellock, Alexander.
Replacements: Bowmen, Limb, T Blaney