11:09am Monday 31st March 2014
By Ross McLean
NUMBER eight James Thompson took his try-scoring tally for the season to double figures with two touchdowns as Kendal took full advantage of results elsewhere to move third in North One West.
Kendal held a narrow 12-7 lead at the break as Chris Park and Garry Holmes crossed the line after Will Miller scored the opening try of the piece.
Thompson started and ended the scoring in the second period as Liam Nicholson extended the home side’s lead before Robert Marrs and David Hanabury replied for the visitors.
Duncan Green returned at hooker after missing the Widnes clash while Brad Jackson made his first start for the club at right wing as Nicholson came into the back row.
Both sides entered the fixture eager to return to winning ways after recent defeats with Wigton establishing an early lead following a misjudged kick from Kendal skipper James Gough.
A quick kick from the drop out caught the hosts napping with the move continued by Richard Moffatt and finished by Miller, as Hanabury added a further two points.
The scores were level after quarter of an hour as Ian Voortman and Jordan Johnson combined following a forwards set-piece drive in midfield before a supporting Park crossed the whitewash and converted.
The Black and Ambers took the lead on the half-hour mark, Dan Lowther finding touch from a penalty with the Kendal forwards winning lineout ball and driving for the line.
Flanker Holmes – who had taken the field in place of Matty Houghton – managed to break away and force his way over for his 22nd try of the campaign as Kendal claimed a half-time advantage.
Having made indifferent starts to the second period in their previous two matches, Kendal this time started on the front foot as a strong forward drive allowed Thompson to touch down.
Park’s conversion took the score to 19-7 although the away side replied after 50 minutes, quick ball from a scrum paved the way for full-back Smith to break through the Kendal defence.
Park added a long-range penalty before Wigton enjoyed a sustained period of territorial advantage with impressive handling and ball retention testing the Kendal defence which held firm.
After weathering the storm, the Kendal forwards set up another try after taking lineout ball, Nicholson breaking away as Park added another conversion to take the score to 29-12.
Wigton reduced the arrears with 20 minutes remaining, Hanabury evading a number of Kendal tackles before second row Marrs scored, with wing Tom Gardner converting.
And ten minutes later, a strong run from Smith let Hanabury in for a try as Wigton set up a rousing finale by moving to within a single score of Kendal.
However, Thompson was to have the final say as the Kendal forwards once again claimed lineout ball with the number eight driving over for his second try of the afternoon and tenth of the season.
Park’s conversion proved the final score of the match with Kendal now third in the league table following this bonus point victory ahead of this weekend’s clash at ninth-placed Wilmslow.
Kendal: Glen Chesher, Duncan Green, Richard Harryman, Liam Hayton, Reece Tomlinson, Matty Houghton, Liam Nicholson, James Thompson, James Gough (c), Dan Lowther, Jordan Johnson, Ian Voortman, Alistair Thompson, Brad Jackson, Chris Park. Replacements: Garry Holmes, Robbie Collinson, Andrew Broadley
Wigton: Lindsey Walker, Richard Jackson, Russell McLean, Robert Marrs, Matthew Atkinson (c), John Story, Oliver Lewis, Stuart Creighton, Fergus Ledingham, David Hanabury, Stephen Harris, Will Miller, Richard Moffatt, Tom Gardner, Greg Smith. Replacements: Elliott Armstrong, Andrew Prentice, Scott Smith
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