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First half blitz puts paid to Kendal at Harrogate
National Division Three (North)
DEFENSIVE frailty was the cause of defeat for Kendal against Harrogate, one of the favourites for promotion this season.
The Yorkshire lads ripped Kendal to pieces in the first half, scoring eight tries with Kendal down to 14 men for much of the half due to two yellow cards conceded.
After 10 minutes play came the first yellow to Mattie Houghton, during which Kendal conceded three tries, two scored by Peter Wackett in the centre. Both tries were neatly converted by fly half Callum Irvine before Oli Denton rubbed salt in the wound on the right wing by adding a third a few moments later, again converted by Irvine, to make it 21-0 to Harrogate after 18 minutes.
Ian Voortman restored some respectability to the scoreline soon after by intercepting a soft pass to stroll over under the posts, Chris Park converting, to reduce the arrears to 14 points.
The second yellow card was conceded by Reece Tomlinson on the half hour mark, and again the Yorkshire lads took advantage.
Irvine kicked a simple penalty, then Houghton hobbled off with a serious ankle injury as Kendal’s problems were compounded.
The half time score of 24-7 was increased by Harrogate in the second half when good interpassing down their left wing ended up with Rob Almond scoring their bonus point try.
Kendal were looking down the gun barrel, but rallied briefly, when two successive rolling mauls ended up with the evergreen Billy Coxon charging over for the Black and Ambers second try, converted by Park.
But Harrogate then counter-attacked, and Jimmy Browne showed good support play to dash over in the corner to make it 34-14.
Mike Aspinall, the Harrogate player-coach, came on soon after and immediately got on the scoresheet with good backing up down the middle, Irvine converting.
Then the ball fizzed out to their left wing for Audsley Beck to stroll over, again converted.
A few minutes later, Maxwell Lewis scored Harrogate's eighth try in the corner as they went 53-14 up.
But Kendal got back into the game led by their experienced forwards.
Richard Harryman charged over after a great drive down the centre but Park missed the conversion before more driving mauls ended up with Garry Holmes driving over for a touchdown.
Park pulled another one back after combining well with Ben Alderson to give Kendal a losing bonus point as they scored 17 unanswered points in the last quarter.