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Kendal put points in the bank against Bradford & Bingley
Bradford & Bingley 32
National Division Three (North)
ELEVEN tries and 71 points were scored on a good day for the attacks but a bad one for both sets of defences.
Kendal were boosted by the return of Dan Lowther, who missed most of last season due to injury, but it was Bradford who were first on the scoreboard after 10 minutes.
Weak tackling in midfield saw centre Richard Tafa score in the corner, and two minutes later the Kendal defence was again at fault, allowing a break finished by outside half Tom Bills to put Bradford into a 10-point lead.
After 20 minutes the Kendal pack showed their strength to drive flanker Dan Greenwood over for their first try of the match and despite both touch judges keeping their flags down, the referee awarded the conversion.
Kendal took the lead four minutes later when Leo Mercer made a good break and timed his pass perfectly for a move finished off by right wing Alistair Thompson to make it 12-10.
The Bradford defence was again opened up by a break by full back Simon Mulholland, who was stopped just short, but the referee awarded a penalty for interference at the breakdown, and Lowther extended the Kendal lead to five points.
Kendal’s forwards failed to gather the re-start, and Bradford set up a position for flanker Guy Ford to score to bring the game level a minute later.
In injury time, the Yorkshire side got their fourth bonus point try from lock Adam Malthouse, which set up a 22-15 half time lead with the conversion from outside half Bills.
Kendal opened the second half scoring after 48 minutes with a try finished by scrum half Simon Davidson to narrow the Bradford lead to two points, and eight minutes later Kendal had the lead with a bonus point try of their own, scored by left wing Jamie Posslethwaite.
When the Kendal forwards rumbled over for try by hooker Duncan Green, converted by Lowther, Kendal had a 10 point lead and looked in control.
But the forwards were caught napping and failed to compete for the kick off, giving Bradford the ball, which set up a move finished for his second try by Tafa. Outside half Bills converted, to narrow the lead to three points. But this was wiped out three minutes later with a penalty by Bills, to tie the scores at 32-32 with 10 minutes left.
Kendal came back with Lowther putting a penalty deep into the Bradford 22. From the resulting maul, Bradford captain Guy Ford was sent to the sin bin for interfering. Rather than go for the posts, Kendal opted for another penalty to the corner and a line out. Using the man advantage the Kendal forwards drove Green over for a second try, with Lowther adding the conversion, as Kendal led 37-32.
Bradford came back and several times looked to have found gaps, but poor finishing and last ditch defence held them out until they were penalised and Kendal were able to put the ball dead for a hard-fought victory.
Richard Harryman, Duncan Green, Glenn Chesher, Liam Hayton (c), Reece Tomlinson, Dan Greenwood, Garry Holmes, Billy Coxon, Simon Davidson, Ben Alderson, Jamie Posslethwaite, Dan Lowther, Leo Mercer, Alistair Thompson, Simon Mulholland.
Replacements: Dom Musetti, Dan Boardley, Graham Coulter
Bradford & Bingley
Moss, White, Wederall, Hughes, Malthouse, Ford (c), M Mitchell, B Mitchell, Jeffery, Bills, Wellington, Greaves, Tafa, Morton, Kanouros
Replacements: Coates, Cochrane, Robinson